Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.59
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Raritan Valley Community College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" 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?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:
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Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:
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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 2021-2025 Strategic Plan (see https://www.raritanval.edu/general-information/newsroom/rvcc-approves-new-strategic-plan-creating-opportunities) states a goal in Pillar 4 "To secure a sustainable future through flexible and innovative
operational strategies" with a strategy of "being active stewards of the human, fiscal, technological, and physical resources of the College to promote sustainability."

The metrics stemming from the Strategic Plan are collected by Institutional Research and published online here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/rvcc.ir/viz/2021StrategicPlanDashboard/Story1
Pillar 4 Metric 1, "Increase Conservation Initiatives, Measured by the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (metric tons per thousand square feet)" has a goal of 11.46 metric tons per thousand square feet of building space. Drilling down, the data shows a decrease in this metric from a high of 13.11 in 2019 down to 7.69 in 2021.

The 2018-2021 Strategic Plan states goals of
- Reducing the campus’s carbon footprint
- Reducing water usage by 10% by 2020
- Reducing waste and increasing recycling as a percentage of waste (diversion rate)
https://www.raritanval.edu/sites/default/files/aa_PDF%20Files/8.x%20General%20Information/2018-2021%20Strategic%20Plan_2.pdf

The College committed to building to LEED Silver or better in its MOU with the EPA in 2009. This requires that at least 35% of campus electricity be renewable. In 2021, the College has increased this commitment to LEED Gold. These commitments are published on the RVCC web site.
https://www.raritanval.edu/general-information/national-recognition/sustainability
https://www3.epa.gov/region02/greenteam/pdf/RVCC_MOU.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:

In the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan (https://www.raritanval.edu/general-information/newsroom/rvcc-approves-new-strategic-plan-creating-opportunities) addresses DEI and race/ethnicity in particular in Pillars 1, 2, and 3. Institutional Research has tied these to four metrics published here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/rvcc.ir/viz/2021StrategicPlanDashboard/Story1

In particular:
Pillar 1. Metric 2. "Three Year Graduation & Transfer Rate for First-time Full-time Degree-seeking Black/African American and Hispanic Students" has a goal of 45%.
Pillar 2. Metric 2. "Increase Enrollment of Low Income (PELL) Students" has a goal of 28.5%.
Pillar 3. Metric 2. "First Term Credit Success Rate for Black/African American and Hispanic First-time in College students" has a goal of 70%.
Pillar 3. Metric 3. "% of Full-time Faculty Who Are Non-white" has a goal of 21%.

The College continues to make necessary diversity recruitment efforts to increase faculty of color representation across campus providing diverse perspectives for all students. This goal is stated in the College's Middle States report. From pages 48-49 in the Self Study report:

"Raritan Valley Community College is committed to providing a diverse learning experience to an increasingly diverse student body. The College is aware that the current racial and ethnic distribution of faculty is not reflective of the student body as demonstrated in Table 3. More precisely, the Fall 2020 data shows a 24% Hispanic/Latino population of students but only 3.3% and 2.7% reported full-time and part-time faculty population, respectively. RVCC has made progress with African American faculty
representation; the full-time faculty percent for African American has increased from 4.5% in 2017 to 6.5% in 2020 and is approaching the 10.7% student African American population which has remained fairly constant. The “Other” category includes populations with percentages too small to represent in the graph along with those that reported “unknown.” Students reported “unknown” much more frequently than faculty. The Human Resources Department continues to train faculty search committee members during charge meetings prior to every search to ensure the committee engage in the search
without bias and with an intentional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Multiple diverse sources are used to post job listings, including Historically Black Colleges & Universities and Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities."

This is consistent with RVCC's institutional priorities, as stated in the Middle States Self-Study Design Document available here https://www.raritanval.edu/sites/default/files/aa_PDF%20Files/8.x%20General%20Information/210826_RVCC_Self_Study_Design_June%202020.pdf
"RVCC Institutional Priorities
1. Closing the Opportunity Gap for under-represented students (Access2Success)
Access2Success is a college-wide initiative launched in Spring 2019 from the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to engage the RVCC community in closing the equity gap that persists among diverse students, in particular for African American/Black, Latinx/Hispanic, first-generation, and under-resourced students. RVCC has proposed a multidimensional approach, encompassing a review of macro- and micro-level data analysis to determine equity gaps. A2S will examine structural and systemic issues that may perpetuate the gap and identify programming, services, and pedagogy to narrow the gap. In addition, there will be seamless integration of our Guided Pathways approach to address structural barriers. In addition, RVCC continues to focus on the need to increase the representation of people of color in the full-time faculty and senior administration to better reflect the student body. This priority aligns with pillars 1 and 4 of RVCC’s current Strategic Plan and maps to MSCHE Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 7."

Diversity is addressed in the College's Commitment to Diversity statement, its values statement, and the strategic plan. It is also addressed in student orientation.
https://www.raritanval.edu/diversity
https://www.raritanval.edu/general-information/newsroom/rvcc-approves-new-strategic-plan-creating-opportunities
https://www.raritanval.edu/sites/default/files/2022-05/DEI_SLIDES_ORIENTATION_42722%20%28002%29.pdf

The College is taking the following steps to implementing this objective:

1. Administering the Campus Climate DEI Survey; this will allow us as in institution to develop a base-line while identifying benchmarks of where we need to grow our efforts and initiatives to meet our community’s needs. We should be receiving results by the end of July/ early August.

2. Developing a Fall Survey for Faculty/Adjunct Faculty in collaboration with CTLS Leadership to assess training and development needs; inclusive of Pedagogy, Scholarship, and DEI.

3. Developing the President’s Commission on Diversity , Equity, & Inclusion;

The establishment of the Presidents Commission on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at RVCC, co-chaired by the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & the Senior Associate for Academic Success. The President’s Commission on DEI will directly be involved with analysis of the Campus Climate Survey as well as strategic recommendations and direction for future DEI efforts based on the information collected. The President’s Commission on DEI will also serve as a bridging group; inclusive of key stakeholders who are already leading DEI efforts at RVCC with the purpose of centralizing efforts, sharing information transparently and across disciplines and assessing results of any implemented changes to determine future recommendations, adaptations or steps. The goal is to intentionally come together to develop a unified vision and collective DEI institutional identity. The Commission will work intuitively with the President to establish institutional DEI priorities and advise the President on DEI progress and emerging concerns or topics.

4. Training and Development for All Employees at RVCC (7 Part Summer DEI Series);

Offered a 7 part DEI series though June/July 2022, twice during each Wednesday training day.

We have been collecting information via:

Sign-Up Sheets (attendance)
RSVP’s (attendance)
Survey’s sent out after each session ( to further improve our offerings to our community) (mode for feedback/after training)


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):
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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:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

From the mission statement found here https://www.raritanval.edu/general-information/mission :

1. LEARNING and GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

We foster best practices in pedagogy, student support, and professional growth to promote equitable opportunities for intellectual and personal development
We promote social and economic mobility.

2. DIVERSITY, EQUITY and INCLUSION

We cultivate a welcoming community, support social justice, and embrace diversity in our population and perspectives.
We are committed to equity, equality, and accountability for all community members.

5. CREATIVITY and INNOVATION

When solving current and future challenges, we establish motivating and empowering standards by “thinking anew.”
We use creative outreach strategies to expand and diversify our populations.
We support the innovative development of advanced technologies and environmental sustainability practices.

OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
Raritan Valley Community College values all aspects of diversity including but not limited to race, sexual orientation, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, veteran status, gender identification and expression, documentation status, or political and philosophical perspectives.
We rely on diversity to enrich the intellectual environment for our community. We support educational access and opportunity by recruiting and retaining a diverse college community.
We foster diversity by developing and maintaining curricular and social programs that infuse the contributions of all people, and by preparing students to excel in a global society.
Our commitment to diversity is reflected in the College’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan, all of which support excellence in teaching, learning and professional development in a welcoming and respectful climate.

INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING OUTCOMES
The Social Self

▪to contribute to the larger community by being civically engaged;
▪to consider the perspective of others;
▪to develop critical and moral reasoning;
▪to practice civility and mindfulness;

The Global Self

▪to recognize the interconnectedness of global, national, and local concerns;
▪to understand and analyze historical events and points of view;
▪to become aware of, appreciate, and respect diversity in all its forms;
▪to apply multicultural competencies to promote equity, inclusion, and social justice;
▪to support environmental sustainability and responsibility.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

Sustainability is defined as environmental sustainability, diversity, and affordability.


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:

The College is formally committed to building to LEED Gold standards or better. The College is committed to maintaining its River Friendly designation.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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IR information provided by Sara Donnelly. DEI information provided by Windy Paz-Amor and Jackie Belin. Middle State Self-Study document (quoted) provided by Patrice Marks.

I could not figure out how to remove the file upload of the 2018-2021 strategic plan.

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.