Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee, office, and/or officer that focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the committee(s), office(s), and/or officer(s) during the previous three years:

The Sustainability Institute and its predecessor organizations and committees - the Campus Sustainability Office, the Center for Sustainability, the Finance and Business Environmental Stewardship Key Initiative Committee, and the Strategic Sustainability Planning Committee - count the following among their accomplishments over the past three years (highlighting examples of those that involve planning and policies):
- completed a Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) for Penn State, that was adopted by the administration and Board of trustees in Fall 2012
- established the Sustainability Institute to facilitate implementation of the SSP
- began to help units integrate sustainability into their own strategic plans
- incorporated environmental stewardship into the master planning process
- established a new web-based hub for sustainability information
- and many more accomplishments that are documented throughout this STARS submission

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The Sustainability Institute's Executive Committee is comprised of the Provost and five vice presidents, representing Undergrad Education, Student Affairs, Finance and Business, Research/ the Graduate School, and Outreach. The role of this committee is to provide advice and feedback to the Sustainability Institute, and to foster two-way communication between the SI and each VP's constituents. This committee meets quarterly with the Sustainability Institute.

The Penn State Student Sustainability Advisory Council provides consultation and advice on Penn State sustainability planning, programs, and initiatives. The Council meets bi-monthly for discussions and planning. The Council is comprised of student leaders, appointed by the President, with experience and interest in studying, advancing, and promoting sustainability. http://studentaffairsblogs.psu.edu/sustainability-council/

Some of Penn State's colleges have their own sustainability committee - for example, the Smeal College of Business has established the Smeal Sustainability Council. http://www.smeal.psu.edu/sustainability-council

The Finance and Business Environmental Stewardship Key Initiative Committee carries over from the previous strategic planning cycle. In the past it has taken major steps to improve environmental consciousness among students, as well as attract national recognition for the University’s commitment to green practices. http://www.fandb.psu.edu/fandb/keyinitiatives/Environmental-Stewardship.cfm

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Current (8/15/14) Sustainability Institute Executive Committee:
Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost
David Gray, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/ Treasurer
Robert Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education
Neil Sharkey, Interim Vice President for Research
Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs
Craig Weidemann, Vice President for Outreach and Vice Provost for Online Education

The Penn State Student Sustainability Advisory Council currently consists of 19 student members, 6 student representatives from affiliated student groups, 6 faculty/ staff members, and a staff adviser.

Current Finance and Business Environmental Stewardship Key Initiative Committee Members (likely to change in Fall 2014):
TBA — Auxiliary & Business Services, Purchasing
Mark Bodenschatz — Intercollegiate Athletics
Duane Bullock — Auxiliary & Business Services, Purchasing
Maurine Claver — Office of Physical Plant, Environmental Health & Safety
Rob Cooper — Office of Physical Plant, Energy and Engineering Services
Ed Dankanich — Penn State Harrisburg, Director of Business Services
Rob DeMayo — Auxiliary & Business Services, Transportation
Lee Erwin — Auxiliary & Business Services, Housing & Food Services
Erik Foley — Sustainability Institute
Joyce Haney — Auxiliary & Business Services, Purchasing
David Manos — Auxiliary & Business Services, Housing
Al Matyasovsky — Office of Physical Plant, Waste Management
Alex Novak - Communications, Office of Physical Plant
Gordon Turow — Office of Physical Plant, Campus Planning & Design

The website URL where information about the sustainability committee(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

In November 2012 Penn State established the Sustainability Institute, merging the existing Campus Sustainability Office (operations-focused) and Center for Sustainability (academically-focused) into a single unit. The Institute is housed administratively at the top level of the University, in the Office of the President, and its director reports to the Provost.
The Sustainability Institute's mission is to lead and support Penn State in the pursuit of sustainability across all functions (teaching and learning, research and discovery, outreach and engagement, administration and operations), through building the capacities of faculty, staff, and students, and reducing institutional barriers to action.

To that end, the Sustainability Institute oversees programs for students, faculty, and staff to build institutional capacity to learn about and practice sustainability; works at the unit and institutional level to support the establishment of measurable goals in sustainability; provides seed funding for sustainability innovations on campus and beyond; and communicates internally and externally to highlight sustainability achievements, build collaboration, and inspire others.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

The website URL where information about the sustainability office(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
All with the Sustainability Institute: Denice Wardrop, Director; Nancy Franklin, Dir. of Programs & Partnerships; Erik Foley, Dir. of Strategic Planning & Operations; Alex Novak, Dir. of Communications; David Riley, Sr Scholar, Dir. of Reinvention Fund

A brief description of each sustainability officer position:

Director - leads the Sustainability Institute;
Director of Programs & Partnerships: oversees student/ faculty/ staff engagement and educational programs, and community partnerships;
Director of Strategic Planning & Operations: oversees strategic planning support and acts as liaison with Finance & Business;
Director of Communications: oversees website and other external communications;
Senior Scholar in Residence and Director of Reinvention Fund: acts in an advisory capacity and oversees the Reinvention Fund

The website URL where information about the sustainability officer(s) is available:

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.