Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.01
Liaison Rebecca Walker
Submission Date April 13, 2022

STARS v2.2

Southern Oregon University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Rebecca Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Management, Sustainability and Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 Council is a University-wide group appointed to (1) advise the President and the Executive Council in matters relating to sustainability and environmental impact; (2) promote environmental stewardship; (3) coordinate efforts of individuals and groups on campus; and (4) educate the campus community about sustainable practices.

The charge of the Council is to:
• Lead through example by promoting the incorporation of environmental concerns in University decisions
• Promote conservation of natural resources to the best of our ability and the creation of sustainable practices and programs on campus
• Educate our community about the necessity of sustainable environmental practices and ecologically friendly economics
• Identify and support research areas and topics for faculty and students
• Build relationships with local governments, businesses, and local citizens in order to promote environmentally sound practices within the region
• Know and understand local, national and international programs to ensure that our environmental practices and policies adhere to or exceed the global vision for a sustainable future

The Sustainability Council's mission is to advise, encourage, and coordinate the operations, research, and campus culture of Southern Oregon University in a manner that is consistent with the values and practices of environmental stewardship and sustainability; promoting individual, institutional and community well-being.

SOU also has an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team and an Equity and Diversity Committee. Southern Oregon University’s Presidential Committee for Equity and Diversity is composed of students, administrators, staff, classified staff and faculty members that will provide consultation, recommendations, and guidance related to EDI efforts, policies and campus practices.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Greg Perkisnon, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Rebecca Walker, Sustainability and Recycling Manager
Jill Smedstad, Equity and Basic Needs Coordinator
Keith Beed, Utilities Supervisor
Patricia McCarthy, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team
Daniel Tharp, University Housing Office Specialist (Housing Representative)
Dining Representative
Pavlina McGrady, Business Faculty
Teresa Coker, At Large Staff/Faculty, Environmental Education
Vincent Smith, At Large Staff/faculty, Director Business, Environmental and Communications and Director of The Farm
Stephen Lanning, IT At Large Staff/Faculty
Cathleen Chambers, Procurement
Leslie Eldridge, Environmental Science Faculty
Sarah Ross, At Large Student
Elizabeth Adkisson, At Large Student
Rianna Koppel, Director Environmental Affairs Committee, ASSOU, Student

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The sustainability office coordinates sustainability-related efforts on campus, manages the campus recycling program, and compiles data and information for the University's annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory, sustainability assessments, and competitions. The sustainability office also provides support for the subcommittees of the Sustainability Council and serves as a resource for faculty, staff, and students on campus.

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

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Rebecca Walker, Sustainability and Recycling Manager

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

SOU's Sustainability Office, housed under Facilities, Management and Planning, works with the entire campus community to incorporate sustainability into the campus culture, policies, and procedures. The office reports on progress across the entire campus through national reporting as well as campus reporting, though updating the sustainability Council and Board of Trustees and reporting through Improve (formerly known as tracdat on Sustainability goals in the Strategic plan).

Some of the most notable accomplishments of the office and Sustainability Council during the last three years (through campus collaborations) include:
- Regular sustainability communications on campus: The Sustainability Office ensures that the campus community receives sustainability education and communication regularly through quarterly newsletters and other sustainability stories that are published on the main campus new stories page.
- Publication of the new Sustainability and Equity in Purchasing Policy and Procedure for the campus in 2021
- Staff sponsored and coordination of all new solar arrays on campus (5 in the last 3 years)
- Community engagement to identify partnerships for SOU as well as potential internships including developing a survey for the community on Home Energy
- Expansion of the recycling center
- Maintaining certification of Tree and Bee Campus
- Guesting speaking on courses, at community seminars

Link to the 2021 Board of Trustees Strategic Plan Update

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Sustainability & Recycling Manager

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Position Description
Sustainability and Recycling Manager

Position Summary:
Oversees campus sustainability and recycling programs and goals. Monitors and reports on all campus activities related to sustainability, reducing carbon footprint, and waste management. Works with other departments to develop programs to encourage conservation of resources and proper waste disposal. Serves as an advocate for the University in the community and state.

Minimum Classification Qualifications
Bachelor's Degree in environmental studies or related field
2-4 years of experience coordinating campus sustainability and/or recycling programs

Preferred Qualifications
5+ years experience working as a sustainability coordinator or in a related position.
Experience with greenhouse gas accounting and STARS reporting
Assessment and Reporting:
Gather and process data into published sustainability reports for internal and external audiences, including required and voluntary reporting opportunities such as, but not limited to: Second Nature Climate Commitment reports, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Reporting System (STARS), etc. Analyze utility and operating reports to assess campus sustainability performance, identify opportunities for improvement and coordinate new initiatives. Develop summaries and highlights of submitted reports for campus audiences to improve transparency and campus knowledge of sustainability goals, indicators, and successes.
Percent of total time: 20

Climate Action Plan Implementation, Planning and Policies:
Manage implementation of SOU’s Climate Action Plan. Develop sustainability indicators and metrics. Collaborate with campus departments to establish monitoring and tracking systems to measure progress. Coordinate with various departments (FMP, Campus Farm, Parking, Business Services, Housing, etc.) to identify projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or conserve resources and help acquire financial incentives (local, state, federal grants, rebates, etc.) and tools for implementing projects. Provide consultation for campus plans, policies and procedures to ensure they align with sustainability goals and values.
Percent of total time: 15

Engagement, Training and Communication:
Provide training and guidance to the University community and serve as a central information source about campus sustainability and recycling issues. Oversee and develop programs to educate students, faculty and staff about sustainability and recycling efforts and the benefits of sustainable practices. Lead and coordinate the Sustainability Council to address institutional sustainability issues and advise the Executive Council on best practices. Create and distribute regular communication on sustainability programs, tips, and engagement opportunities. Serve as the campus liaison for sustainability-related partnerships with the City and other community groups/organizations. Advise and provide administrative support for the Environmental Affairs Committee and allocation of the student Green Fund. Provide support and project management for sustainability projects, including university and student-led efforts. Oversee student staff/interns to assist with sustainability coordination and zero waste initiatives.
Percent of total time: 25

Manage Campus Recycling Programming:
Continue to develop and encourage waste and waste stream reduction on campus. Manage campus recycling center and coordinate waste diversion efforts. Hire, train and supervise student employees at the recycling center to ensure clean recycling stream. Recruit and coordinate volunteers to assist at the recycling center. Manage and maximize all waste management contracts and services with local vendors, city and county entities. Pursue opportunities to expand waste diversion channels. Maintain campus waste infrastructure, including bins and signage. Provide expertise and support to campus on all waste-related issues.
Percent of total time: 35

Other Duties as Assigned:
Serve on University and community committees. Perform other assigned duties in support of the University, and Facilities, Management and Planning Dept.
Percent of total time: 5

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.