Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.64
Liaison Sean MacInnes
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sean MacInness
Sustainability Specialist
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
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A copy of the strategic plan:
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The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Climate Action Plan

Short Term
A phase-in of sustainability throughout the curriculum through one or more of the following:
• Promote and support the successful existing efforts and programs.
• Create and implement a mandatory on-line course on sustainable practices at UNCG, modeled on the AlcoholEDU program. Students would be required to watch the course and pass a follow-up exam before beginning classes.
• Incorporate at least one lecture on sustainability and its relationship to the subject matter into each General Education core course.

Medium to Long Term
• Develop a Sustainability Concentration for appropriate majors. For example, a Green Business concentration or “Green” MBA could be added to Bryan School offerings.
• UNCG could offer a cross-disciplinary Sustainability Certificate or Sustainability Minor. Such a program could be modeled on the successful existing cross-disciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurship, Women’s and Gender Studies, and African American Studies.
• Facilitate new faculty hires in relevant areas to strengthen existing academic programs (e.g. Environmental Health Ph.D.) or create new areas of proficiency in departments that have no expertise in sustainability.
• Work across departments to create an annual academic “theme,” with sustainability serving as the focus.
• Research the feasibility of a “Sustainability Fellows” program, wherein selected faculty members teach, research, and promote sustainability issues (achieved).


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UNCG Strategic Plan
"External funding to support research and creative activity is one broad indicator of work that contributes to knowledge transformation. UNCG will increase research productivity by 19.8% by fiscal year 2022."

The UNC System’s strategic plan, Higher Expectations, calls for a system-level strategy to “expand its footprint in advanced research, beginning with additional funds for the successful UNC Research Opportunities Initiative (ROI). This competitive program selects advanced research programs in high-impact areas for North Carolina: advanced manufacturing; marine and coastal science; defense, military, and security; pharmacoengineering; energy; and data sciences.”

The Climate Action Plan
“UNCG could develop a formal sustainability internship program through collaboration among the Office of Sustainability, the Academic Sustainability Coordinator, the Environmental Studies Department, and Student Affairs. Topics for internships and research projects are abundant, including expanding recycling, student outreach, and marketing energy conservation habits.”

“Training, ongoing consultation and mentorship to guide faculty in their efforts to introduce sustainability into their courses will be vital to achieve success… These programs typically begin with a multi-day faculty development workshop open to faculty in all disciplines to learn about sustainability issues and investigate ways to integrate them into their courses. Participants develop or revise a syllabus or course module that incorporates sustainability concepts as they relate to their prospective discipline. The training cohort then meets again for a field trip and discussion session, and members share the results of their efforts. Faculty members who take part receive a small stipend once their new or revised syllabi are accepted.”


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Strategic Energy Plan
• Certify additional groups under the voluntary Green Office 3.0 Certification Program and expand the participation to spread awareness of and incentivize energy conservation and other sustainability issues and practices (annually).
• Certify campus residents under the new voluntary Green Room Certification Program; Also create and deploy new ‘green room recommended program” with bookstore, including items that are high performing in the energy use realm (annually).
• Continue efforts to developing new "behavioral" based energy conservation programs, including a building energy stewards program (monthly).
• Continue supporting the Climate Action Plan work-group on energy in identifying work plan for year and implementing actions to support the implementation and fulfill our Climate Commitment to the American College and University Presidents'(quarterly).
• Continue supporting the UNCG Green Fund student support program managed by the Sustainability Office to encourage applications with energy savings approach (annually).

Climate Action Plan
“Introducing first year and transfer students to the sustainability initiatives is an important step to develop the culture of sustainability at UNCG. Several methods can be used to reach these new students. Inclusion of a presentation within new student orientation (“SOAR”) would emphasize the importance of sustainable practices to UNCG.”

“Green Office Certification Program: This program educates faculty and staff on how to make the most of the sustainability resources available to their offices/departments, as well as how to make positive sustainability behavior changes. Certification requires an office to complete three progressive levels. The Chancellor’s Office was the first to participate and the first to achieve certification. Three additional offices have completed the process, and more than 25 offices are working toward certification.”

“Human Resources: A presentation on sustainability at UNCG is included in New Employee Orientation. The Sustainability Office also developed and led a Personal Development Course: titled “GHG? kWh? CO2e? Zzzzzz….” This was a conversational workshop to introduce interested employees to the basics of sustainability from economic, social justice and environmental perspectives.”

UNCG should fund a robust EcoRep program, as peer-to-peer education is one of the most effective means of influencing behavior.

Other ideas include:
• Work with admissions to include sustainability into recruiting materials.
• Strengthen and expand the Creative Sustainability Initiative. Increase the number of participants, and seek funds to implement winning projects when possible.
• Encourage and fund attendance of UNCG student sustainability leaders at conferences for campus sustainability, including AASHE and the Smart and Sustainable Campuses.
• Continue working with SGA to establish a position within the SGA administration that serves as a liaison to the Office of Sustainability.

UNCG Green Fund Constitution and Bylaws
“The goal of the Green Fund is to support sustainability initiatives on campus at UNCG. UNCG’s commitment to sustainability is specified in the UNCG Climate Action Plan and the UNCG Strategic Plan. The Sustainability Policy of the University of North Carolina mandates that UNCG achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“The revenue generated by the Green Fund will be used for projects that aim to achieve goals set forth in UNCG’s Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan. The Green Fund will invest primarily in campus infrastructure improvements to help reduce costs and meet UNCG’s goal of climate neutrality. The Green Fund will also invest in sustainability education, research, and professional development opportunities that benefit students.”


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Strategic Energy Plan
• University Energy Analyst registered to attend the Energy Management Diploma program at NCSU that is supported by the USI initiatives.
• Host Appalachian Energy Summit 2019 Mid‐Year meeting is planned to be held at UNCG.
• Attend the State Energy Conference, Midyear Energy Summit and Appalachian Energy Summit (annually).
• Report to the State Construction Office the SB 668 utility data; and continue updating the Strategic Energy Plan (annually).

Climate Action Plan
• Create a ‘green tour’ of the campus that highlights LEED buildings and other sustainable infrastructure.
• Develop a series of videos on sustainability topics and programs to be made available on the Office of Sustainability website.
• Establish regular features in Campus Weekly, WUAG, and The Carolinian for campus sustainability spotlights and energy data.
• Develop a comprehensive sustainability pledge to be posted on the website that tracks feedback and automatically triggers follow-up e-mails and reminders on a regular basis. In the process, the current energy conservation pledge will be woven into a larger commitment.
• Support awards for leadership and excellence in sustainability for faculty, staff, and students to be awarded by the Sustainability Council.
• Work with University Relations to develop a campus wide awareness effort including high profile activities such as green flags for College Ave and Spring Garden Street.
• Work with the Sustainability Council and Chancellor to establish sustainability as a primary theme for an academic year.
• Develop or purchase a smart-phone/ipad app to encourage sustainable activities. E.g., a “UNCGreen game” in which students self-report sustainable actions to earn points and rankings.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Climate Action Plan
• Completing an emissions inventory
• Taking immediate steps to reduce GHG emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions
• Creating a Climate Action Plan (CAP), with a target date and interim milestones for the campus to achieve climate neutrality by (or before) 2050, within two years of signing the commitment
• Encourage alternatives to travel, such as teleconferencing, web-conferencing and video conferencing versus physical attendance.
• Recommend that travelers take the most efficient travel available and appropriate for the trip (train or automobile are often more efficient for short.
• Have travelers add the purchase price of carbon offsets to the travel costs.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Strategic Energy Plan
• Campus‐Wide Building Control Conversion plan, converting the Building Automation System (BAS) to Tridium Niagra AX from Signal Global Control Module (GCM) at Coleman, Eberhart, Becher‐Weaver, POCAM Offices at Walker Deck, Sink Building, Ferguson Building and Foust Building.
• Install as fund available utility meters for each building on campus and connect them to the Building Automation System (BAS) to track energy usage.
• Assess Building's energy consumption using meter information for trends and data‐driven decision making (Vykon replacement). Energy assessment will be implemented once every building is "fully metered" and all meters are integrated.
• Install and integrate to the Tridium Building Automation System (2) TVA steam meter, at Stone Building and Petty Building.
• Continue to incorporate buildings into the Tridium Building Automation System, which will allow for better energy analysis and better control of energy usage.
• Update utility data and charts posted on UNCG website for energy usage.

Climate Action Plan
“When Chancellor Brady signed the Climate Commitment in 2011, the University had pledged to construct all new buildings to LEED Silver standards.”

Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings
• Retro-commissioning to retune buildings
• Campus site lighting
• Motion switches and other lighting controls
• Energy management system expansion and optimization
• Lighting upgrades
• Variable Air Volume (VAV) fume hoods
• Demand or occupied/unoccupied ventilation rate reduction
• Air Handling Unit (AHU) supply air static pressure reset
• AHU VAV conversion


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Strategic Energy Plan
• Conduct a feasibility study for potential of (80 kW) ground mounted or rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at new or existing University facilities
• Continue monitoring first Performance Contract stipulations for McIver Chiller Plant and four campus buildings. Annual
• Focus on using the Ultra‐Probe ultrasound detecting device for monitoring and maintenance program that detects for the compressed air leak.
• Continue the process of upgrading Building Automation Systems (BAS) in conjunction with renovation projects as possible.
• Continue with the third year of operation evaluating and monitoring the energy performance of the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness by verifying actual performance over the design first and previous years’ performance second.
• Plan to communicate with the Sustainability Office and the Registrar Office to implement Buildings Consolidation approach for scheduling summer classes in buildings that constantly run through summer. Determine with Registrar the most appropriate buildings to use for classes in summer.
• Continue to seek low‐cost and no‐cost ways to improve the utility operations system.
• Replace the obsolete HVAC control for campus wide that would continue for 4 years.
• Continue construction of the Nursing & Instructional Building and complete construction of the new South Chiller Plant.
• Continue upgrade to LED the exterior site lighting to include areas around Peabody Park, and McIver Pedestrian Mall.
• Finish upgrading the electrical system in the Foust Building by replacing branch circuit wiring and (4) Federal Pacific distribution panels.
• Conduct a Facility Condition Assessment study on twenty‐three of the HR&L buildings; (1) Ragsdale Mendenhall; (2) Weil Winfield; (3) Moore Strong; (4) Phillip Hawkins; (5) Mary Foust; (6) Guilford; (7) North Spencer; (8) South Spencer; (9) Reynolds; (10) Grogan; (11) Cone; (12) Tower Village; (13~19) Quad (all 7 bldgs.); (20) Spring Garden Apartments; (21) Jefferson Suites; (22) Lofts on Lee; and, (23) Spartan Village I.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Climate Action Plan
• Selling used cooking oil to a local biodiesel production facility.
• Adopting cooking practices to minimize oil use with modified frying techniques
• Establish a reusable food container program (e.g., Ecoclamshell) that Food Services customers could use in place of disposable versions.
• Dining is also moving toward purchasing more foods in dry form rather than wet form to reduce packaging.
• Dining Services will work with Pepsi to incorporate reusable soft drink (Pepsi) syrup boxes for fountain drink supply.
• Build on the participation in the NC 10% program to purchase more local and regional foods.
• Expand the food waste compost program campus wide to include retail outlets and residence halls that allow cooking.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Climate Action Plan
• Landscape Chemicals: Over the past few years, the Grounds Department has emphasized the use of organic fertilizers, and only when necessary. This combination has reduced GHGs from fertilizers by over 50% since 2008-09.
• Integrated Pest Management: The UNCG Grounds Department and Facilities Services Department both employ this strategy to minimize the use of potentially toxic chemicals and the production of hazardous waste that the University must handle. UNCG’s program places an emphasis on prevention of infestations beginning with landscaping with disease and insect-resistant plants. Should pest control be necessary, the program emphasizes inspection and monitoring protocols and application of least-toxic pesticides.
• Eliminating the use of yard waste landfills will result in a reduction of almost 5% of the UNCG waste designated for landfills. To accomplish this, all yard waste will be composted.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Climate Action Plan
• A University Vehicle Purchasing Policy
• A University Vehicle Operations Policy
• A policy to mandate Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) alternate bids for commonly purchased products and services.
• A policy to specify that packaging used by vendors be recyclable via the UNCG recycling program.

“Procurement practices are also governed by various state laws including Executive Order 156, a directive in support of the state’s environmental stewardship initiative, NC Project Green. Within this Order is guidance to purchase products containing recycled materials. Other purchasing initiatives include:
• Third-party sustainability certifications: UNCG encourages that all new motors are Energy Star certified, and some office paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
• Green Cleaning: Facilities Services has made this a priority over the past decade. UNCG currently purchases Green Seal certified cleaners and hand soaps from Johnson/Diversey, Inc., but will be revisiting this contract in the next fiscal year.”


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Transportation Plan
• Heavy emphasis on parking needs, including bicycle parking.
• Recommended bicycle parking near every building entrance on campus.
• Recommended covered bicycle parking at strategic locations around the campus.
• Emphasis on connections with existing and proposed on- and off-road bicycle facilities outside the campus area (e.g. the Lake Daniel Greenway and the future Battleground Rail Trail)
• Identification of locations for aesthetic and safety improvements
• Ancillary facilities and education programs

Campus Bicycle Master Plan
• Construct a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the Norfolk-Southern rail line or a tunnel underpass beneath the rail line to improve crossing safety and reduce the “obstacle” effect of the railroad between the campus and southern neighborhoods.
• Post “No Turn on Red” and “Yield to Pedestrians” signage at all signalized intersections to restrict turning movements and raise motorist awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians at busy campus intersections. Other MUTCD signs should be considered, such as the “Begin Right Turn Lane, Yield to Bikes” sign in Figure 3.7. Also consider “bike boxes” at intersections to increase visibility of cyclists (see Appendix 2 for details).
• Install covered and uncovered bicycle racks throughout campus, as appropriate (see Section 5). The University should also consider the installation of bicycle lockers, available for rent, for longer-term covered parking opportunities. Bicycle storage rooms should be considered for all new residence halls. A bicycle map should be printed and distributed that identifies the locations of all campus parking and other “ancillary facilities.”
• Consider the installation of directional “wayfinding” signs for cyclists

Climate Action Plan
• Outsource campus transportation services if doing so would reduce impacts.
• Encourage development of affordable housing for employees and students with families within walking distance of campus.
• Require all new construction to be high density.
• Work with the City to create bike lanes on Glenwood Avenue between the existing bike lane on Florida Street and the Spartan village along Lee Street.
• Develop a rail stop on campus near the Spartan Village underpass.
• Close the Greenway gap at Chandler Concrete to improve bike connectivity to/from campus.
• Construct no more new parking spaces.
• As parking decks are paid off, replace with academic buildings or other non-parking facilities.
• Consider pedestrian safety zones requiring cyclists to dismount in high traffic areas.
• Develop guidelines and safety protocols for skateboards and other alternative vehicles.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Climate Action Plan
• An emphasis on landfill diversion over recycling – recycling is the third “R” in reduce, reuse, recycle because it is the least desirable of the three.
• Promotions to clarify what items can be recycled on campus.
Create a survey for the campus community on perceived barriers to recycling on campus.
• Continued participation in and improved marketing of Recyclemania.
• Engagement with athletics, SGA, and others to promote waste minimization and recycling initiatives and events.
• A partnership between Purchasing and the Sustainability Office to promote Environmentally Preferred Purchasing once that policy is finalized.
• Campaigns to educate students and employees about the impacts their choices have financially, environmentally and socially. Convenient alternatives to disposables will be presented.
• Create a “Professional Recycler” training program that will formalize commitment and knowledge of UNCG’s unique waste reduction programs.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Strategic Energy Plan
• Continue gathering meter readings from irrigation and cooling towers in order to receive the non‐sewered water credits from the City of Greensboro.
• Apply as possible the actions and recommendations of the Water Resources Team from the Climate Action Plan.
• Renovate, replace, or repair with low‐flow devices and building water meters for new buildings and buildings undergoing renovation as funds available. Capital Projects
• Integrate to the building automation system water meters on campus as fund available.
• Continue and expand to include new areas be controlled by Sentinel irrigation on campus.
• Continue investigating and repairing any water and steam condensate leaks in campus loops.

Climate Action Plan
• UNCG must also develop water-capture technologies such as rain water collection and gray water reuse to replace some of the non-potable water needs of the campus even though Greensboro’s low water rates extend payback for many of these technologies.
• Housing has committed to investigate the potential for these in the highrise renovations and later projects, and as the University gains experience with the effectiveness and feasibility of these options on campus, it will implement projects to install them.
• Another idea to capture water is to collect condensate from HVAC systems across campus.
• Another, smaller portion of this would be captured for campus irrigation, as the UNCG water trucks distribute an average of 2,000 gallons per week.
• Finally, pint-flush urinals will be installed as replacements for the 1.0 gallon “low-flow” versions that have become the campus standard.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UNCG Strategic Plan
• To increase enrollment of low-income (Pell grant eligible, in-state) students by 15.1% by 2021.
• UNCG will increase enrollment of rural (in-state, from a Tier 1 or 2 county) by 9.4% by 2021.
• UNCG will increase the 5-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students to 62.4% by 2022 (instate; from any accredited 4-year institution). (UNC System)
• UNCG will increase the low-income completion rate by 32.5% by 2021-22. (UNC System)
• UNCG will increase the rural completion rate by 12.9% by 2021-22.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Climate Action Plan
“The University will also consider instituting a revolving fund to loan capital to auxiliary departments. Under this arrangement the initial savings generated by a project go towards repayment of the loan, with future savings remaining with the auxiliary unit.”

“To fund larger infrastructure projects, UNCG will investigate the creation of a 'green' endowment. This endowment would be established and maintained primarily through private donations and targeted fundraising efforts. Other mechanisms to generate money for this endowment could include offering a 'green fee' option that students could choose to pay in addition to their tuition or adding a carbon offset / environmental impact fee to parking permits [achieved].”


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UNCG's Strategic Plan
"Health and Wellness is broadly defined to encompass the many dimensions necessary for individuals to cope, adapt, grow, and develop. This theme encompasses predictors and indicators of the state of the human condition, and scientific advances related to Health and Wellness."

"Our continued commitment to this area will be demonstrated by increases in external funding related to health and wellness, faculty receiving scholarly recognition, pass rates of licensure exams, and program rankings. Currently under development, a millennial district dedicated to public-private partnerships related to health and wellness will be a focal point of our distinction in this area."


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

UNCG defines sustainability as "academics, operations, and outreach... conducted with careful attention to the enduring interconnectedness of social equity, the environment, the economy, and aesthetics."


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
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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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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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.