Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.27
Liaison Sarah Mittlefehldt
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northern Michigan University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Sarah Mittlefehldt
Co-Chair, Sustainability Advisory Council
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Objective #1 in the Sustainability Plan: "Create and provide support for a Center for Sustainability and staff, including a director, part-time coordinator and administrative support." The action items to achieve this objective include the charge that the Center would provide academic support to increase integration of sustainability into curriculum and research efforts across the campus, and work to increase sustainability-related certificates and degree programs. The full explanation is available at:
https://www.nmu.edu/sustainablenmu/sites/DrupalSustainableNMU/files/UserFiles/Files/Sustainability_Plan2020.pdf


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

NMU's Strategic Plan 2019 Goal: "We are linked and committed to our natural environment as we seek to be an environmentally friendly, economically feasible, and socially acceptable university community built on a strong set of core values and centered on the success of students."

The Sustainability Plan includes an objective to increase engagement: "Provide financial support for a student educators program (“EcoReps”) where students receive formal training on how to conduct peer outreach and develop sustainability leadership skills." The financial support was provided in 2018 and the full details of this objective are available at:
https://www.nmu.edu/sustainablenmu/sites/DrupalSustainableNMU/files/UserFiles/Files/Sustainability_Plan2020.pdf


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The Sustainability Plan also includes two objectives related to operations: "Increase energy efficiencies, promote reduced energy consumption and investigate renewable energy options" (Objective 3) and "Increase our purchases of local food products and grow our support of local farm businesses."

Both of these objectives - which included an increase from our 2016 baseline measurements are detailed in the Sustainability Plan:
https://www.nmu.edu/sustainablenmu/sites/DrupalSustainableNMU/files/UserFiles/Files/Sustainability_Plan2020.pdf


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The University's Strategic Action Plan includes measurable objectives for increasing diversity and well-being on campus. Specifically, transformative goals within the University's new Strategic Plan include: 1. Redefine the role of the Multicultural Education and Resource Center in supporting Northern’s university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts." To work toward this goal, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is working with President’s Committee on Diversity to create a university-wide diversity plan. It has also established the Diversity Student Alliance to connect with leaders of student organizations affiliated and/or interested in diversity, and plans to create a Diversity Alumni Alliance.

Additional evidence that NMU is making progress toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion is the fact that the ODI is targeting historically underrepresented communities via strategic and “home” connections for recruitment and relationship-building. Examples include organizing the second-largest college/university group in Michigan (and only institution from U.P.) to attend the annual Statewide Latino Hispanic Graduation (12); Black Student Union (BSU) on Wheels connected with 177 students from 10 high schools on student recruitment trips in Chicago and Detroit; and Spring Break Warriors, supported by Center for Native American Studies, connected with 169 students in 12 U.P. high schools.

The Center for Native American Studies received a grant from the National Science Foundation to run the Reimagine STEM Summer Youth Academy. The program enrolled 47 students in summer 2017. Of the 13 graduating high school seniors enrolled, 6 are now NMU students. Forty educators enrolled in the Educator Academy. Student and educator applicants came from 11 states. Because 36% of the Reimagine STEM Summer Youth Academy students came from southwest Detroit, the ODI is developing partnerships with high schools in that area, specifically Western International High School, for programs and campus visits.

As part of Transparency action project recommendations, administration has begun holding at least one university general update and budget forum per semester. Completed the 2017 employee satisfactory survey with 49% of the NMU workforce responding. About 85% indicated a sense of accomplishment in their jobs. Additionally, about 75% said they are aware of the mission, vision and diversity statements, as well as the strategic plan and core values. About 40% are satisfied with the strategic direction of the university, while 24% disagree with that statement.

NMU's Sustainability Advisory Council is working to encourage development of programs, courses and learning opportunities that emphasize the unique assets of the Upper Peninsula and its natural environment, and increase environmental literacy. The Academics & Research section of this STARS report has provided an opportunity to inventory sustainability-related curriculum and research across the campus.

The items in the University's Strategic Action Plan are explained in greater detail here:
https://www.nmu.edu/president/sites/DrupalPresident/files/UserFiles/Strategic_Plan_2019_Update.pdf


Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Minor theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
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Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

NMU's vision statement and core values each explicitly endorse sustainability as a key consideration for the institution.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:
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Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.