Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.13
Liaison Bridget Flynn
Submission Date March 9, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Oberlin College
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Bridget Flynn
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Sustainability
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Do all enrolled students, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which students have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

Student Senate and Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA), as well as many other appointments to committees and working groups.

Student Senate is the central governance organization for the student body. It is the principal advocate for the interests of the student body as a whole to the Oberlin administration and faculty, and ensures effective student participation in the faculty governance system. The Senate is a central forum for common dialogue within the student community, and for the development of legislation to actualize common goals. Senators are elected and serve on various committees and in various capacities (see website for further information in Notes below).


Is there at least one student representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative student body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of student representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

There is a recent graduate that serves on the Board of Trustees. One class trustee is elected from each year's graduating class. All members of the current graduating class are eligible for election. This person is selected by popular vote. Students are also invited to participate in Board of Trustee topical sessions. Students also serve on committees.


Do students have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal student role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals: Student representatives are on the Strategic Planning committee. Oberlin prides itself with the level of student involvement and responsiveness to student desires. See recent Strategic Plan Committee for composition examples: http://new.oberlin.edu/strategic-plan/planning-process/process/committee-members.dot

Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives: Students and student representatives are on standing faculty committees, working groups, and task forces that create a variety of campus policies and programs from the sexual offense policy to the environmental policy.

Strategic and long-term planning: Students serve on the Strategic Planning committee.

Existing or prospective physical resources: Students serve on the Capital Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Budgeting, staffing and financial planning: Students serve on many hiring committees.

Communications processes and transparency practices: Communications office employs many students. There are also numerous institutionally-supported student newspapers, like the Oberlin Review. Whereby Student Senate aims to update the student body minutes and other documents are available online.

Prioritization of programs and projects: Students are involved in many processes to determine prioritization of programs and projects. However, when they don't feel their voices are being heard or want to make demands known, students regularly organize. They organize working groups, demands, petitions, rallies and demonstrations, and more. See this website for some examples of working groups: https://sites.google.com/a/oberlin.edu/oberlin-student-working-groups/.


Do all staff, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all staff have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

OCOPE (union association for administrative assistants), A&PS Staff Council and various committees (serves all administrative and professional staff), as well as UAW for unionized trades workers.


Is there at least one non-supervisory staff representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative staff body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of non-supervisory staff representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

There are non-supervisory staff represented sit on the Board of Trustees by nature of their position, the Chief of Staff is one such person.


Do non-supervisory staff have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following? :
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal staff role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals: Staff are included in many goal-setting and organizational charting initiatives, depending on the project an all-staff email may be sent or relevant staff included.
Staff can be elected to committees, working groups, and oversight bodies that work on various programs, policies, and initiatives. There are also ad hoc group formed out of interest, like the recent Smoke-free Campus Coalition.
Strategic and long-term planning: All stakeholders are included in this effort.
Existing or prospective physical resources: Staff can make requests for capital improvements.
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning: Various staff serve on hiring committees.
Communications processes and transparency practices: Staff, depending on their affiliation, can serve on various committees and oversight bodies that update their peer group, like OCOPE or A&PS. Emails are sent to the whole list, meetings are held, and updates are posted on Blackboard.
Prioritization of programs and projects: Select staff serve on working groups and ad hoc committees in addition to formal structures that respond to student desires and changing priorities.


Do all faculty, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all faculty (including adjunct faculty) have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

Board of Trustees level Committees, General Faculty, and General Faculty Council
http://how.oberlin.edu/glossary/detail/96


Is there at least one teaching or research faculty representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative faculty body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of faculty representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

There are faculty that serve on the Board of Trustee committees.


Do faculty have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal faculty role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals: Faculty very much drive these discussions, such as the Strategic Planning effort, recent General Learning Outcomes (passed Spring 2016), and other organizational visioning and goal-setting.
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives: Faculty serve on many committees that work on policies and programs. Evident in the various committee structures here: http://how.oberlin.edu/glossary/detail/96
Strategic and long-term planning: All stakeholders, including faculty, are engaged.
Existing or prospective physical resources: They can make requests for capital improvements. Faculty have also driven physical projects through their research or acquisition of grants.
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning: Faculty often serve on relevant staff hiring committees.
Communications processes and transparency practices: General Faculty meetings are open to all faculty. Voting happens at these meetings where all faculty can voice concerns and share perspective. General Faculty happenings can be assessed on Blackboard by faculty.
Prioritization of programs and projects: Oberlin is a faculty-governed institution. Through the various governance structures, faculty drive many programs.


The website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:

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