Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.17
Liaison Toby Cain
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Luther College
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Toby Cain
Sustainability Coordinator
Center for Sustainable Communities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do the institution’s students have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a student council)? :
Yes

Do the institution’s students have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which students are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

*Luther College's board of regents governance policy is attached to this section of STARS in Part 2 as a PDF.

1. Student Senate is Luther College's student government organization. Senate consists of 27 student representatives elected each spring, with the addition of 3 first-year representatives elected in the fall. http://www.luther.edu/student-senate/

2. Three of these student senators also serve as student representatives to the Luther College Board of Regents.


Do the institution’s staff members have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a staff council)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s non-supervisory staff members have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which staff are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

1) The College Resource Council allows staff and faculty to serve in an advisory role to the administration and Regents in matters of long-range planning, resource allocation, and in the planning of the budget. All exempt and non-exempt staff are asked to nominate staff who have budget center responsibility to two seats on the Council. They are appointed by the administration. An additional staff member is appointed —nominated by the faculty and staff—who holds a position at the college with expertise directly related to diversity.

2) In terms of the Board of Regents, the college's vice presidents and deans and the executive assistant to the president are actively involved in Regent meetings and activities.


Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a faculty senate)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body? :
Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which teaching and research faculty are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Three faculty members, three students, and one staff member all serve on the Luther College Board of Regents. A description of our board governance structure is included as a PDF on the bottom of this section.

1) Three faculty members serve on the Luther College Board of Regents. These representatives to the Board of Regents are the three tenured faculty members
elected by the faculty to serve as the divisional members on the College Resources Council (staggered three year terms).

2) The College Resource Council allows staff and faculty to serve in an advisory role to the administration and Regents in matters of long-range planning, resource allocation, and in the planning of the budget. Four faculty members serve on the Council: a representative from the Faculty Interests Committee plus three faculty elected to serve as divisional representatives (who are also the representatives to the Board of Regents).

3) Luther College has a strong tradition of faculty governance; our bylaws read: "they shall establish the departments of instruction, decide upon courses of study, determine the requirements for the admission to the college and for graduation, nominate candidates for degrees, establish the rules and regulations for the government of the College, and have the power to suspend or expel students whenever it finds such action necessary for the welfare of the college....The Faculty shall elect or authorize the selection of such committees as may be required for the carrying on of the powers enumerated above." Luther has four faculty governance committees: the Faculty Organization Committee; Faculty Interests Committee; Academic Planning Committee; and the Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee.


Does the institution have written policies and procedures to identify and engage external stakeholders (i.e. local residents) in land use planning, capital investment projects, and other institutional decisions that affect the community?:
Yes

A copy of the written policies and procedures:
The policies and procedures:

One of the five major goals of the Center for Sustainable Communities' 2019-2022 Strategic Plan is Community Resilience, which includes cooperating with community partners in campus projects that affect the community.

"Community Resilience: Our work beyond campus to do sustainable community outreach and to assist communities and partner organizations to create and implement community resilience plans and projects.

IV. Catalyze movement toward more sustainable communities in collaboration with community partners while creating experiential learning opportunities for students.

-Help communities engage in resilience planning and implementation
-Develop a timeline and process to sign and implement the Second Nature Resilience Commitment
-Assist the City of Decorah’s efforts to create a multidimensional Sustainability -Plan and integrate Luther students in the process
-Work collaboratively with community stakeholders to market the quality of life in Decorah and northeast Iowa

Foster a regional approach to sustainability
-Deepen and expand collaborative work on community flood resilience within the watershed of the Upper Iowa River
-Collaborate with Winneshiek County on studying and protecting environmental assets
-Explore innovative models for a regional food system
-Continue to work with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative on regional approaches to education about healthy food and wellness
-Explore with community leaders ways Luther can help promote economic development in the area

Goal #3 of the 2015-2018 Center for Sustainable Communities' Strategic plan was:
- Enhance Luther’s land stewardship program with increased emphasis on community education and collaboration
- Explore land stewardship community education programs using pilot programs to determine needs and fit with Luther’s resources.
- Increase visibility of Luther’s land stewardship initiatives through web and other media.
- Collaborate with partners on land stewardship projects and identify current gaps in the wider community where Luther’s expertise can be developed and used.

The Facilities and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Regents invites individuals from the community to serve as outside resources to inform their Committee. These community members consult with the Regents and bring in a knowledge base, but do not hold voting power. Four of the five invitees are local residents. The Facilities and Sustainability Committee monitors the stewardship of plant, equipment, and grounds; assesses the college's land stewardship plan; monitors progress on carbon neutrality targets; reviews campus energy efficiency and conservation efforts; recommends property sales or property acquisitions; reviews the deferred maintenance schedule; reviews campus sustainability initiatives; and recommends capital investment projects.


Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which community members representing the interests of the following stakeholder groups can regularly participate in institutional governance?:
Yes or No
Local government and/or educational organizations Yes
Private sector organizations Yes
Civil society (e.g. NGOs, NPOs) Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which external stakeholders are engaged in institutional governance (including information about each stakeholder group selected above):

Katie Prohaska, a local business owner of River Root Farm, is an outside resource for the Facilities and Sustainability Committee. The Facilities and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Regents invites individuals from the community to serve as outside resources to inform their Committee. These community members consult with the Regents and bring in a knowledge base, but do not hold voting power. Four of the five invitees are local residents. The Facilities and Sustainability Committee monitors the stewardship of plant, equipment, and grounds; assesses the college's land stewardship plan; monitors progress on carbon neutrality targets; reviews campus energy efficiency and conservation efforts; recommends property sales or property acquisitions; reviews the deferred maintenance schedule; reviews campus sustainability initiatives; and recommends capital investment projects.

The college collaborates with the Winneshiek Energy District, which would qualify as an NGO/NPO in the drop-down menu above. Its director sits on our Sustainability Council. The Sustainability Council is responsible for voting to recommend policies and programs to the cabinet for approval, approving funding for sustainability grants, and providing feedback on new programs, initiatives, and ideas coming from the task groups. The Campus Sustainability Council is comprised of students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the council will serve on at least one of four sub-groups that will include other members of the Luther community. All task group and sustainability council meetings are open to the campus community. Andy Johnson, director of the Winneshiek Energy District, is a member of the council.

Community member Kirk Johnson, Decorah City Council member, was invited to participate in 2018 leadership assessment workshops surrounding the presidential search committee for the college.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Luther College engaged in a strategic planning process for the future of the college. External stakeholders were invited to participate in this process. A description of the process is linked in the notes below.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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