Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 63.76
Liaison Levi Rogers
Submission Date March 10, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Skidmore College
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 3.00 Karen Kellogg
Director of Sustainability
Dean of Faculty's Office
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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?:
Yes

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

Our Student Government Association is a very active body on campus and includes several legislative committees that demonstrate the breadth and depth of their influence on campus:
SGA Senate: SGA's primary policy-making body
Academic Council: Made up of students from across departments, the primary liaison between students and academic departments.
Budget and Finance: Manages financial policies and budgeting for all SGA clubs and committees.
Club Affairs: SGA liaison to all existing clubs and assists in the creation of new clubs.
Events Council: Coordinates events with all major event planning groups on campus.
Inclusion and Outreach: Coordinates SGA's outreach and social justice campaigns.
Student Life: Works with various departments to promote the highest possible quality of student life.

Students are elected by their peers to serve in SGA leadership positions. The President of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the SGA Vice President for Financial Affairs both sit on the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC), Skidmore's most significant all-college policy and planning committee and our highest governing body. The IPPC advises the President with regard to strategic planning and policy development, taking a comprehensive view of significant issues affecting the College. In so doing, it serves as the central deliberative body for all-College governance. More specifically, IPPC advises the President on all policy areas, with primary responsibility for those areas beyond the purview of faculty governance (such as budget and financial planning, benefits, environmental issues, admissions and financial aid, student affairs, and advancement).

The subcommittees of our IPPC, including Assessment, Intercultural and Global Understanding, Responsible Citizenship, Budget and Finance, and Campus Sustainability, also speak to the reach and importance of our IPPC.


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?:
Yes

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

There are two non-supervisory staff seats (one member from the Exempt staff and one member from the Non-Exempt staff) on Skidmore's Institutional Policy and Planning Committee, our most significant all-college policy and planning committee. The IPPC advises the President with regard to strategic planning, taking a comprehensive view of significant issues affecting the College. In so doing, it serves as the central deliberative body for all-College governance. More specifically, IPPC advises the President on all policy areas, with primary responsibility for those areas beyond the purview of faculty governance (such as budget and financial planning, benefits, environmental issues, admissions and financial aid, student affairs, and advancement). The subcommittees of our IPPC, including Assessment, Intercultural and Global Understanding, Responsible Citizenship, Budget and Finance, and Campus Sustainability, also speak to the reach and importance of our IPPC.

The Skidmore Staff Advisory Group helps to promote a positive and collaborative work environment and provides a platform for communication between staff members and senior administration. The goal of the Skidmore Staff Advisory Group is to promote a positive and collaborative work environment through activities that include:
-Receiving and sharing information
-Providing input as requested relating to Skidmore’s institutional priorities and strategic goals
-Helping to improve the College climate for staff members by engaging in discussions, providing input and suggestions, and working on various campus projects
-Encouraging staff colleagues to participate on College standing and ad hoc committees


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? :
Yes

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:

There are three faculty members elected, one of whom serves as Vice-Chair, to our most significant all-college policy and planning committee (Skidmore's Institutional Policy and Planning Committee). The IPPC advises the President with regard to strategic planning, taking a comprehensive view of significant issues affecting the College. In so doing, it serves as the central deliberative body for all-College governance. More specifically, IPPC advises the President on all policy areas, with primary responsibility for those areas beyond the purview of faculty governance (such as budget and financial planning, benefits, environmental issues, admissions and financial aid, student affairs, and advancement). The subcommittees of our IPPC, including Assessment, Intercultural and Global Understanding, Responsible Citizenship, Budget and Finance, and Campus Sustainability, also speak to the reach and importance of our IPPC.

There are also numerous other faculty governance committees, including the:

Faculty Executive Committee
Committee on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure
Committee on Educational Policies and Planning
Committee on Academic Freedom and Rights
Curriculum Committee
Faculty Development Committee
Tenure Review Board
Tenure Appeal Committee

Faculty, Staff, and Students are also involved in every subcommittee of IPPC and numerous Task Forces formed to address specific issues.


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:

We have several formally recognized committees through which community members represent the interests of civil society and the broader community. For example, we have such representation on our Institutional Biosafety Committee, our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and our working group for our Campus Sustainability Plan-Lands and Grounds. We also regularly include community stakeholders in conversations and planning for various projects, and Skidmore's Campus Tree Advisory Committee must include a student, faculty, facilities management, and community representative as required by the Tree Campus USA certification.


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 No
Private sector organizations No
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):

Tree Campus USA Committee assists the College in land use planning for Skidmore's undeveloped lands. The committee must include one member from the greater Saratoga Springs community who is not affiliated with Skidmore College.

Institutional Biosafety Committee- The role of the Skidmore College Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is to provide advice and recommendations to the research community by reviewing bio-agent use protocols and approving procedures that will provide for the safe conduct of teaching and research while ensuring compliance with local, state and federal requirements. Members of the IBC are selected for their area of expertise and from the areas of the College that generate the majority of protocol applications. There is also the need to have members that are from the surrounding community. This ensures an unbiased "outside" viewpoint that could be overlooked if the membership consisted only of Skidmore staff. The IBC Chair will consult with members to answer questions generated from the protocol review. Membership must include no fewer than five members appointed by the Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs and selected so that they collectively have experience and expertise in recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid technology and in the identification of any potential risk to public health or the environment resulting from the use of biological materials in research or teaching activities. At least two members shall be from the local community who are not otherwise associated with the College, and who represent the interest of the surrounding community. The IBC shall include at least one member with expertise in plant, plant pathogen, or plant pest control containment principles.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee- The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal regulations, inspecting animal facilities and laboratories and overseeing training and educational programs. The overall role of the IACUC is to ensure the humane and sensitive care and use of animals. Membership must include no fewer than five members appointed by the Dean of the Faculty; a veterinarian, a scientist experienced in laboratory animal research, and an individual who has no other affiliation with the institution besides membership on the committee.

Our Campus Sustainability Plan-Lands and Grounds working group external stakeholders in multiple ways, including invitations to participate in working group conversations and collaborative work through various committees on local and regional land conservation planning and initiatives.


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