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

STARS v2.2

Southern Oregon University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Rebecca Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Management, Sustainability and Planning
"---" 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?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

SOU's Strategic Plan has 7 Strategic directions, one of which focuses on sustainability and is measured through SOU's reporting process, Improve (formerly known as tracdat) and reports to the Board of Trustees.
Strategic Direction III: SOU will actively model an environmentally sustainable campus and engage in collaborative research to promote an ecologically-resilient bioregion.

Goal 1: SOU will be a model sustainable institution of higher education, integrating sustainable planning, practices, policies, and education throughout the university.

Goal 2: SOU will strengthen its organizational and financial infrastructure to support the advancement, promotion and reach of environmental sustainability at SOU.

Goal 3: SOU will integrate sustainability, the environment, and conservation into its curriculum, scholarship, and creative activity.

Goal 3 is reported on to the Board of Trustees and in relation to developments around the curriculum through Improve and measurable goals.


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Strategic Direction III: SOU will actively model an environmentally sustainable campus and engage in collaborative research to promote an ecologically-resilient bioregion.

Goal 1: SOU will be a model sustainable institution of higher education, integrating sustainable planning, practices, policies, and education throughout the university.

Strategic Direction VII: SOU will be a catalyst for economic vitality, civic engagement and cultural enrichment through ongoing collaboration with local, state, tribal, national, and global partners.

Goal One: SOU will be a resource and collaborative partner for the economic, cultural, artistic and social betterment of the region.
Goal Two: SOU will collaborate with a wide range of partners to provide civic engagement, service learning, and community-based learning experiences for all its learners.

Goal progress is reported on to the Board of Trustees through Improve. For example, Goal one under strategic direction 3 reports on engagement with students and wider community as a measurable indicator.


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:

SOU's Strategic Plan has 7 Strategic directions, one of which focuses on sustainability and is measured through SOU's reporting process, Improve (formerly known as tracdat) and reports to the Board of Trustees.
Strategic Direction III: SOU will actively model an environmentally sustainable campus and engage in collaborative research to promote an ecologically-resilient bioregion.

Goal 1: SOU will be a model sustainable institution of higher education, integrating sustainable planning, practices, policies, and education throughout the university.

Goal 1 is measured through the Improve (formerly known as tracdat) in the following:
Student Employment, Experience, and Skills - number of students jobs in sustainability
Sustainability office participation in courses/classes and number of
Support of green fund projects from staff, faculty, and sustainability office
number of articles, publications, and local media stories to promote sustainability to SOU and the wider community
Measuring of greenhouse gas emissions scope 1,2 and 3
Maintainance of Tree and Bee Campus
Increase diversion from landfill
Increase in renewable energy generation on campus
Energy efficiency initiatives

SOU's Climate Action Plan (currently being updated) is reported on annually to second nature in terms of greenhouse gas emissions


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:

SOU's Strategic Plan and Strategic Direction IV: SOU will create a diverse, equitable, inclusive community where learners flourish.

Goal One: SOU will replace structural and systemic barriers with equitable processes and practices that promote a sense of belonging and ensure the success of a diverse “new majority.”
Goal Two: SOU will establish supportive pathways that will increase the access, retention, and success of learners (students, faculty, and staff) from underrepresented backgrounds.
Goal Three: SOU will prepare all learners regardless of background, identity and position, to work, live, and communicate effectively across differences in order to thrive in an increasingly diverse world.


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?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
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Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The university's vision, mission and values as part of the strategic planning process all have sustainability at their core.

SOU's vision
Southern Oregon University will become an inclusive, sustainable university for the future that guides all learners to develop the knowledge, capacities, and audacity to innovate boldly and create lives of purpose.

The university's mission statement reads:
Southern Oregon University is a regionally-engaged learning community committed to being the educational provider of choice for learners throughout their lives.
We inspire curiosity and creativity, compel critical thinking, foster discovery, and cultivate bold ideas and actions.
We achieve student success, professional preparation, and civic engagement through service excellence, evolving technologies, and an innovative curriculum.
We foster access, equity, inclusion and diversity in thought and practice.
We prepare our learners to be responsible, engaged citizens in our democracy.
We promote economic vitality, sustainability, cultural enrichment, and social well-being in our region, the state, the nation, and the world.

SOU Values
The well-being and success of all learners
Critical thinking, discovery, and engaged learning
Equity, diversity, and inclusion
Creativity and collaboration
Excellence, continuous improvement, and accountability
A healthy, safe, and civil campus
Economic vitality and environmental sustainability
Improving our community, region, and world


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

In the strategic plan, SOU defines sustainability as - Sustainability presumes that resources are finite, and should be used wisely with a view to long-term priorities and consequences of the ways in which resources are expended.

SOU broadly defines sustainability as achieving increased well-being for humanity over time through an equitable and sustained utilization of critical natural capital. The SOU definition includes sustainability goals set forth by 1) the U.N. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987 Brundtland Commission) which indicated that sustainable development will “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” and 2) the intertwined “economic, social and environmental elements” of sustainability, which AASHE incorporates into its definition of sustainability.


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 Yes
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:

Southern Oregon University is a charter signatory of Second Nature's Presidents' Climate Commitment.


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