Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date June 7, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Maureen Fellows
Director of Government Relations and Institutional Planning
Governmental Relations and Institutional Planning
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

All students are eligible to vote for representation and/or run for office for either the Undergraduate Student Association or through the Graduate Student Association.
The Undergraduate Student Association (see http://www.esf.edu/org/usa/) is the governing body for the undergraduate population. The Graduate Student Association Senate acts as the representative body of graduate students at ESF (see http://www.esfgsa.com/).

Both the undergraduate and the graduate student associations elect a representative to be a member of the ESF Board of Trustees, the highest governing body at ESF ( http://www.esf.edu/welcome/trustees.htm ). In addition, ESF also has a broader shared-governance body called "Academic Governance" ( http://www.esf.edu/facgov/ ), which includes the College's President, all Faculty, 16 elected students, and 30 elected staff representatives.

In addition, Students have seats on the following College "shared decision-making" committees: Capital Planning, Diversity, Strategic Planning, and Sustainability.


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:

All staff are welcome to attend Academic Governance meetings and some work on committees. As of the May of 2015, a professional staff (30 representatives) also have the right to vote in Academic Governance.
Bylaws of Academic Governance can be found at: www.esf.edu/facgov/bylaws.htm


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:

Academic Governance at ESF (http://www.esf.edu/facgov/) serves a variety of roles as defined by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Primarily, ESF's Academic Governance serves to help facilitate the initiation, development, and implementation of the college's mission and educational program. All ESF Faculty have voting rights on Academic Governance, and are eligible for elected position on the Academic Governance Executive, as well as on several committees.

No ESF Faculty are elected to the ESF Board of Trustees. With the exception of 2 student representatives, all Board of Trustee members are named by the Governor of New York.


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:

ESF is committed continually evolving its educational, research and outreach programs to meet the environmental challenges of a rapidly changing society, necessitating broad and diverse forms of community stakeholder engagement. ESF's strategic plan, Vision 2020, has the stated priority to "build and enhance partnerships and collaborative relationships", which in turn will "strengthen ESF’s ability to achieve the goals outlined in the strategic plan". Furthermore, "ESF’s academic programs are strengthened through strong collaborative relationships with industry, government and others that provide valuable insight into future educational needs for a productive workforce". Specific targets to achieve under this plan include establishing "additional external advisory councils" and "strengthening links with program related industries, other educational institutions,alumni and government organizations".
ESF's 2011 self-study for MSCHE reaccreditation reaffirms these goals stating: ESF "...embraces the public trust placed in it by the people of New York State and accepts the responsibility to advance knowledge in the College’s specialized areas of study. ESF will fulfill this duty consistent with the core values of discovery, community and service. As part of the State University of New York, ESF’s service to the community extends beyond the bounds of the campus. The College is committed to sharing its discoveries and knowledge with public and private constituencies, organizations and citizens throughout our state, our nation, and the world."

The Office of Sustainability intends to work with campus and community stakeholders in 2016 to draft an explicit policy on how the broad range of stakeholder engagement that already takes place can be applied more
comprehensively across the institution to further "identify and engage community stakeholders in the college or university’s ongoing governance, strategy and operations". ESF is also working to compile a comprehensive list of the dozens, possibly hundreds of stakeholder groups that the college is currently or recently engaged with.

Current list of identified community stakeholders:
-Syracuse City School District
-Onondaga Nation
-New York State Wholesale Farmers Market
-The Manufacturers Association of Central NY
- RadTech International North America (trade association)
-US Green Building Council
-Remsen Development Corporation
-City of Utica
-Utica Marsh Natural Area
-Open Space Institute
-NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
-NYS Adirondack Park Agency
-Northern Forest Center
-Adirondack Wild


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):

Board of Trustees; College-wide Committees; Joint Capital Project Working Groups; Sustainability Committee


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The definition of formal role that was used is qualified as advisory to the President. All decisions on a SUNY Campus are made strictly by the President and all input into the decision making process is advisory. Therefore, the formal role is to be advisory through Academic Governance either as a direct member or represented by either other professional staff and/student representatives. There are however support staff that is not represented, by Academic Governance, but are represented by other organizations who collaborate with the President.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.