Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.25 / 3.00 Amy Griffiths
Sustainability Intern
CEVE
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do the institution’s students have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a student council)? :
Yes

Do the institution’s students have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which students are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Through the Rice Student Association, one member of the student body is elected president. All students at Rice University are eligible to run for SA president. The president directly interfaces with the university president's office as well as the provost, the vice-provost and the faculty senate. Many recommendations and legislative documents that are passed in the student association are passed on to the governing board. However, there are no student elected representatives on the Board of Trustees.

The Rice University Student Association has an executive cabinet comprised of a president, internal vice-president, external vice-president, treasurer, secretary and parliamentarian. There are eleven senators; one from each of the residential colleges. Each residential college also elects four new student representatives for a grand total of 44.

Rice UCourt is the judicial branch which has an executive body comprised of a chairman, a vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. Each residential college also has a representative for a total of eleven. Candidates must apply to run before being placed on the ballot.


Do the institution’s staff members have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a staff council)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s non-supervisory staff members have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which staff are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Fifteen full-time university staff members are appointed to serve on the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC) of Rice University to fulfill its primary mission: making work at Rice more enjoyable and productive. Composed of three subcommittees, SAC aims to provide personal growth and development. The SAC facilitates open lines of communication between the university's administration and staff by providing a forum for hearing and reviewing staff concerns and interests, Proposing ways to improve university staff relations, including ideas that originate from within the staff, and by Acting, in general, to help make Rice University’s education community an efficient, fulfilling, and supportive environment for employment (http://sac.rice.edu/).

Though it is not an elected position, Rice's non-supervisory staff members also have the opportunity to serve on the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC).

Policies are developed in committees which are formed of a wide variety of staff members. Those staff members are frequently called upon to create institutional policies based on their areas of expertise. Long-term master planning occurs through the university architect who is staff member within the facilities department. He frequently draws upon other staff members for input and advice in decision making.

Physical resources including grounds, buildings and other resources come out of the facilities department and housing and dining.

Staff members are frequently consulted in committees on budgeting, staffing and financial planning as well as communications processes and transparency practices. For example, housing and dining as well as facilities engineering and planning manage social media campaigns.

Staff are frequently consulted in the development of programs and projects. They help the administration determine which projects have the highest budgeting priorities. This applies especially in large scale construction and building projects.


Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a faculty senate)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body? :
No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which teaching and research faculty are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

The faculty senate is responsible for many of the major decisions on campus. The head of the senate consults directly with the deans, the provost and vice-provost, as well as the president.

For all areas relating to academics, the faculty senate has direct impact in all of the above areas barring communications processes and transparency projects. They are responsible the academic missions, visions and goals. The faculty senate ultimately creates policies and programs regarding academic topics. The long-term planning for each department is approved through the faculty senate and the deans of each department have a major say in the prospective physical resources. They also help approve tenure for associate professors and prioritize both programs and projects.

While there are faculty members who sit on Committees of the Board of Trustees - such as the Dean of the School of Architecture, who sites on the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees - they are appointed rather than elected.


Does the institution have written policies and procedures to identify and engage external stakeholders (i.e. local residents) in land use planning, capital investment projects, and other institutional decisions that affect the community?:
Yes

A copy of the written policies and procedures:
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The policies and procedures:

Rice has no written policies that meet this criteria. However, Rice does have procedures whereby the Public Affairs department engages our external community extensively on a regular basis, especially when construction is contemplated (including even construction that takes place entirely on Rice's own campus).


Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which community members representing the interests of the following stakeholder groups can regularly participate in institutional governance?:
Yes or No
Local government and/or educational organizations Yes
Private sector organizations Yes
Civil society (e.g. NGOs, NPOs) Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which external stakeholders are engaged in institutional governance (including information about each stakeholder group selected above):

For 25 years, Rice’s Public Affairs group has hosted a quarterly community luncheon with about 30 representatives of neighborhood groups, non-profits, vendors, elected officials, and other key stakeholders in the area immediately surrounding the university to share information, discuss issues, and otherwise engage with community leaders. This group is regularly used as a sounding board for Rice issues that could have a community impact.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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