Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Madeline Schuh
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.25 / 3.00 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" 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?:
No

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

Student governance consists of several organizations at Penn, including: Class Boards, Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC), Social Planning and Events Committee (SPEC), Student Activities Council (SAC), Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE), Undergraduate Assembly (UA), and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). Students elect members of the Class Boards, the Undergraduate Assembly, and GAPSA; members of the other branches are appointed or apply to positions.
University Council, the primary governance body at Penn, includes seats for GAPSA and the UA.
For information on the format of the Trustees, Penn's governing body, see: https://secure.www.upenn.edu/secretary/trustees/#


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:

Each constituency has its own procedure for nominating University Council and committee members. Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA), Weekly-Paid Professional Staff Assembly (WPSA), Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), or the undergraduate Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC), all have mechanisms for participation in Penn's University Council. Faculty members interested in serving on Council and committees are selected through the Faculty Senate Office.

In late January of each year, a "Call for Volunteers" is published in "The Almanac", listing the Council committees with a brief synopsis of their purview. Anyone interested in serving on committees during the following academic year submits their nominations as directed in the "Call for Volunteers". Constituency chairs send lists of representatives to the Office of the Secretary as they are completed.

For information on the format of the Trustees, Penn's governing body, see: https://secure.www.upenn.edu/secretary/trustees/#


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:

The Faculty Senate was established in 1952 as the representative voice for full-time teaching faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. The University of Pennsylvania embraces a vision of shared governance in which the faculty is regularly consulted on academic issues and faculty decisions heavily influence policies that are under the purview of faculty responsibility.

The University President sits on the Board of Trustees, as does the Provost. Both hold the academic rank of professor and are a member of every Faculty of the University. The President can call a meeting of the Faculty at her discretion.


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:

For over 15 years, the Penn Office of Government and Community Affairs hosts "First Thursday" a formal monthly meeting for member of the community (leaders of non-profit agencies, community organizations, business owners, local elected representatives, and residents). An agenda is set at the start of the year, and each month a different topic is addressed by representative Penn staff, faculty, and/or local leaders. All members of the community are welcome. The typical monthly attendance is over 50 people.


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):

University City District (UCD) is a partnership of several anchor institutions, including Penn, that supports small businesses and residents in the University City area of West Philadelphia. UCD was created largely by the University of Pennsylvania, which maintains a strong role in maintaining the organization. The primary mission of the UCD is community revitalization, and the organization manages several programs that create opportunity, and improves economic vitality and quality of life. They work within a place-based, data-driven framework to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect low-income residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation.

The University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees has public and private representation. The Board includes two "Commonwealth Trustees" who are appointed by the PA State House and Senate majority leaders. The current Commonwealth Trustees are currently local business persons. Also the Governor of PA is an ex officio member of the Penn Board of Trustees, and represents the interests of his constituency. Even though Penn is a private organization, the University accepts public funding to support the School of Veterinary Medicine, which provides the only large animal veterinary care in the Commonwealth and includes a bio-containment facility that serves the region in cases of outbreaks of animal disease. More information is at: https://secure.www.upenn.edu/secretary/trustees/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to creating a more sustainable campus as stated in the 2014 Climate Action Plan and Dr. Gutmann's Penn Compact 2020. This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY17 year and compares them to the FY14 baseline year which corresponds with the University's Climate Action Plan. 2.0. The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been included and referenced as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits.

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.