Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Cary Gaunt
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Cary Gaunt
Director of Campus Sustainability
Sustainability
"---" 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:

Keene State College (KSC) is deeply engaged in sustainability related public policy development and advocacy at the local level. Two examples of this are:
1) Specific policy effort of developing a Sustainable Energy Resolution and a Sustainable Energy Plan for the City of Keene: The Director of Campus Sustainability, as called for in the Position Description and by campus leadership (e.g., from direct supervisor Vice President of Finance and Administration), is expected to participate in relevant City decision-making, policy and planning bodies. During the reporting period of this STARS submission, the Director of Campus Sustainability, Dr. Cary Gaunt, actively participated in the City's Energy and Climate Committee (ECC). This Committee was instrumental in developing the City's Sustainable Energy Resolution and the resulting Sustainable Energy Plan (See:https://d0fddc11-6f37-4ef9-b53d-081e19334e1a.filesusr.com/ugd/9ed701_4c9a3a5b579643db8735d564a50ac420.pdf). The ECC developed draft language for the Resolution and Plan, reviewed the documents, and advocated for their approval at the City Council. The Sustainable Energy Resolution calls for all sectors to meet 100% of electricity needs by renewable sources by 2030. Through this policy-making collaboration with the City, Keene State College modified its goals to match the City's.
2) Specific Policy Effort of Developing and Implementing a sustainable transportation, "Complete Streets" Policy and other sustainability planning decisions: The College leadership also place a faculty or staff member on the City of Keene Planning Board. For the time period of this submission a Professor of Geography, Dr. Chris Cusack, served on the Board. The Planning Board is instrumental in evaluating all land use decisions in the city, including efforts to improve sustainable transportation and evaluate all decisions in light of environmental and sustainability concerns. One example of this work is the Complete Street ordinance that seeks to "consider and incorporate all modes of transportation and the safety needs of all users including, motorists, transit, pedestrians, bicyclists, seniors, youth, and persons with disabilities, when making improvements to existing infrastructure or building new projects." (See: https://ci.keene.nh.us/sites/default/files/planning/Complete%20Streets/Complete%20Streets%20Keene%20Design%20Guidelines_071515.pdf). The Planning Board also actively participates in campaigns and/or develops policies that encourage bicycling through establishment of bicycle trails, and myriad environmental concerns, especially water quality. The relevant work of the Planning Board is extensive, but is captured in the City of Keene 2018-2023 Capital Improvement Plan (See: https://ci.keene.nh.us/sites/default/files/Finance/2018-2023%20Capital%20Improvement%20Program.pdf). KSC has been actively involved in discussions around bicycle paths in Keene since one of the primary rail trails passes through campus. Sustainability-related actions of the Planning Board also are reflected in the recent (October 2020) land development code changes (See: https://ci.keene.nh.us/sites/default/files/Summary%20Document%20of%20LDC_Oct%202020.pdf).
In addition, a City-College partnership exists through the College City Commission (See: https://ci.keene.nh.us/college-city-commission) that is charged with "facilitating long range planning and short and long term recommendations to the College and the City on issues of mutual concern. It is to create a model for how a city and college collaborate effectively and engage each other in the resolution of their most pressing issues. It will create a framework to deal with emergent issues as well." Issues covered by the College City Commission range from sustainable transportation (e.g., Intermodal Transportation Feasibility Study) to improving the quality and energy efficiency/sustainability of student off-campus housing.


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:

Dr. Dottie Morris, KSC Chief Diversity Officer was named by the KSC President to play a leadership role in the NH Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, which is charged to "Review and analyze New Hampshire laws, regulations, and agency policies and procedures, and recommend changes or amendments, where necessary, to further combat discrimination and advance the ends of diversity and inclusion." Diversity and inclusion, gender and racial inequality, discrimination, and injustice are identified by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Earth Charter as major sustainability challenges.
The Advisory Council for Diversity and Inclusion is charged with working cooperatively with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, the Civil Rights Unit of the New Hampshire Department of Justice, and any other relevant State entities to:
Review and analyze New Hampshire laws, regulations, and agency policies and procedures, and recommend changes or amendments, where necessary, to further combat discrimination and advance the ends of diversity and inclusion;
Identify and recommend ways in which the State can support local and community efforts, through educational programs or otherwise, to combat discrimination and advance diversity and inclusion;
Identify and recommend ways in which the State can partner with non-governmental organizations to combat discrimination and advance diversity and inclusion; and
Identify and recommend revisions to RSA 354-A and the scope of the duties of the Commission for Human Rights to combat discrimination and advance diversity and inclusion.
The Council actively engages with the State legislature as evidenced in this recent letter expressing concerns about proposed legislation that could negatively affect "ongoing efforts to create an environment in New Hampshire that is deeply rooted in principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion." (See: https://www.governor.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt336/files/inline-documents/sonh/20210309-hb544-_1.pdf
Furthermore, this group was instrumental in developing the Governor’s COVID-19 Equity Response Team. The Team was charged to: "develop a recommended strategy and plan to address the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," which it did in the legislative report, Governor's Covid-19 Equity Response Team: Initial Report and Recommendations." (See: https://www.governor.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt336/files/documents/equity-response-team.pdf). See also: https://leadershipnh.org/news/10014.
Keene State College President Melinda Treadwell led efforts at the state of New Hampshire and University System of New Hampshire to develop effective Covid-19 safety protocols; clearly a public health sustainability challenge (See: https://www.nhbr.com/dr-melinda-treadwell-2021-outstanding-women-in-business-recipient/ and https://www.unionleader.com/news/education/keene-state-a-leader-in-college-reopening-effort/article_1d19961e-da53-567c-ad1d-5222e33da1da.html). This effort resulted in clear policies and guidelines for the management of Covid-19 at the state's higher education institutions (See: https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt381/files/inline-documents/sonh/doe-post-secondary-education.pdf).


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:

The highly regarded Keene State College (KSC) Holocaust and Genocide program faculty experts partner with the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities in New York City, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta to develop online coursework for police training titled "Promoting and Protecting Civil and Human Rights" (see https://www.keene.edu/news/stories/detail/1600284081822/ and http://www.auschwitzinstitute.org/news/online-training-for-law-enforcement-on-promoting-and-protecting-civil-and-human-rights/). These trainings are designed to change police policies and procedures. This collaboration also develops policy papers advocating for policies and other approaches to preventing genocide and mass atrocities. Dr. James Waller, Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College represents the College's HGS program at the Auschwitz Institute where he serves as Director of Academic Programs. (See: http://www.auschwitzinstitute.org/staff/)
KSC also holds a leadership role in the national American democracy project, where staff member Kim Schmidl-Gagne and College President Melinda Treadwell serve on the ADP Steering Committee. Kim is also the curator for the AASCU Economic Inequality Blended Learning Course and a member of the ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Steering Committee. The ADP/TDC addresses economic inequality among college populations and developed a multi-year initiative "to understand the impact of economic inequality on our democracy. The goal of this initiative is to help students think about and take action to confront the complex causes of growing economic inequality." The ADP promotes policy advocacy by empowering the student voice.
KSC engages with ADP at the national and local level, most recently partnering locally to encourage voter education and participate in the city of Keene and region (https://www.keene.edu/news/stories/detail/1601482657799/).


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:
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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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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Dr. Cary Gaunt worked with staff to compile information for this section and then verified institutional participation by connecting with engaged faculty and staff and/or reviewing City, State, and national web sites, stated policies and other documents.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.