Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.92
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Dec. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

James Madison University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Donna Harper
Vice President
Access and Enrollment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In 2015, a request was submitted to the City of Harrisonburg's Electoral Board by Josh Humphries, who was then a senior political science major and chairman of the Student Government Association’s Legislative Action Committee. Ms. Maggie Burkhart Evans, executive assistant to JMU President Jonathan Alger at the time, wrote to the Electoral Board stating the administration gave its support for the creation of an on-campus precinct for students. The letter said James Madison University was willing to partner with the City to explore a plan for sharing potential costs. Harrisonburg City Council approved a new voting precinct at the JMU Convocation Center, and the precinct is operational.

The creation of an on-campus precinct, in combination with other programs, was intended to increase the number of students voting in elections. Voter education and engagement is embedded in several job descriptions at JMU, which is an uncommon practice. And, JMU is one of only four campuses in Virginia with a Voter Friendly Campus designation. JMU defines civic engagement as advancing the legacy of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, by preparing individuals to be active and responsible participants in a representative democracy dedicated to the common good. Voting is an aspect of civic engagement. In the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's "25 Ways to Help Virginia's Environment," the first action listed focuses on civic engagement, "Be a Concerned Citizen and Support Environmental Programs." The brief description of this action includes, "...become informed and engaged in your community by voting." (see https://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/EnvironmentalInformation/25WaystoHelpVirginiasEnvironment.aspx)


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Ms. Donna Harper, Vice President for Access & Enrollment Management, serves on the Title IX/Campus Sexual Assault Advisory Committee for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), and Ms. Amy Sirocky-Meck, Title IX Coordinator, serves on the regional sub-committee. Both of those committees provide feedback and information to the State Council of Higher Education on issues around campus sexual assault, and often this includes providing formal feedback from the committee to the state government on proposed state level legislation and how it would impact students and also the educational mission of our institutions.

The committee recently put together and submitted a formal response to the proposed Title IX regulations and to proposed Virginia State House Bills 1830 (a bill to amend and reenact § 23.1-808 of the Code of Virginia, relating to certain institutions of higher education; sexual violence policies; student rights) and 1831 (a bill about public institutions of higher education; enrolled students; disciplinary proceedings; due process). At JMU, a small group of employees put together a formal response to proposed Title IX regulations and Virginia State House Bills 1830 and 1831.

The Virginia Municipal Stormwater Association (VAMSA) brings together over 70 proactive local governments and leading stormwater consulting firms to work for clean water and safe infrastructure in Virginia based on sound science and good public policy (http://www.vamsa.org/). JMU and several other universities are active members (http://www.vamsa.org/membership/). VAMSA’s primary goals are to provide a venue for local governments to share knowledge on stormwater management regulation; to establish and maintain good working relationships with state and federal officials; to encourage the establishment of sound policy relating to stormwater management; and to assist in the development of laws, regulations and policies based on good science and technology and sound management practices. To these ends, VAMSA is actively involved with state policy makers on every major stormwater issue in Virginia critical to effective management of stormwater systems... (http://www.vamsa.org/accomplishments/)"


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have introduced the "Correctly Recognizing Educational Achievements to Empower (CREATE) Graduates Act". This bill will help students, across the country, receive the degrees that they have already earned by creating incentives for institutions of higher education to establish “reverse transfer” programs, or initiatives to transfer back credits from a four-year institution to the community college where they were initially enrolled. The Presidents at James Madison University and Blue Ridge Community College (a major feeder to JMU and the first 2-year school to join JMU’s “reverse-transfer” program) have both publicly supported Senator Kaine’s bill. Both institutions firmly believe that individuals and society will benefit from this program. As background for reference, JMU established “reverse-transfer” programs with several community colleges in Virginia. Most students who attend a 2 year school and then transfer to JMU will complete their degree. The reason why some transfer students are unable to complete their degree is usually related to family obligations, not ability. Some of these students did not receive their associate degree prior to transferring. When these students cannot continue, employment is often their immediate concern. A “reverse-transfer “program allows many of these students to be able to receive their associate degree and thus be more marketable when looking for employment.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) at James Madison University is committed to access and inclusion for international education and experiences. CGE faculty and staff are active in professional organizations that advocate for policies and legislation that advance international education both abroad and at home. These organizations include Association of International Educators (NAFSA), Diversity Abroad, European Association for International Education (EAIE), Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) the Forum on Education Abroad, American Council on Education (ACE) and Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Voting precinct information from Ms. Donna Harper, Vice President, Access and Enrollment Management

Reverse Transfer Credit information from Mr. Michael Walsh, Dean of Admissions

Title IX information from Ms. Amy Sirocky-Meck, Title IX Coordinator

VAMSA information from Mr. Abram Kaufman, Energy Conservation and Sustainability Manager

International education information from Dr. Felix Wang, Associate Executive Director, Center for Global Engagement

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.