Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison David Cullmer
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Unit-level Sustainability Chairs, Councils, and Charters

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Although our "CCC" initiative has already been mentioned briefly in the context of peer engagement, we would like to highlight it here as an innovative practice, and provide some additional details.

Penn State's Sustainability Institute (SI), which has been charged with integrating sustainability throughout Penn State's teaching, research, outreach, operations and co-curricular education, realized that accomplishing that mission would require that ownership of sustainability extend beyond the Institute and into individual colleges and support units, as well as throughout the Commonwealth Campus system. So the SI began to encourage the leaders of each budgetary unit (= deans of the colleges, vice presidents/provosts of the support units, and chancellors of Commonwealth campuses) to designate a person within their unit as a sustainability chair to provide leadership. That person should have a recommended 0.25FTE dedicated to sustainability, with the buy-out of time provided by the unit, in some cases subsidized by the SI. The designated chair in turn should form a multi-stakeholder council within their unit (including faculty, staff, and students where applicable), and the council should in turn create a charter defining strategic sustainability goals and strategies for that unit, consistent with the University's sustainability goals.

As of Fall 2020, the CCC structure has been adopted by nine of 13 University Park colleges, the University Libraries, and Hershey Medical School.

This structure, we feel, will accomplish several goals. It creates peer networks for the units (for example, the college chairs meet with each other bi-monthly, convened by SI staff); it creates a network through which the SI can disseminate relevant information; and, perhaps most importantly, it unleashes the creativity of each unit, and allows them to define how their unit can best advance sustainability, and thereby take ownership. It is not one size fits all.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Coordination & Planning

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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