Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 3.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which the following stakeholders can regularly participate in the governance of the institution?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Academic staff Yes
Non-academic staff Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal participatory or shared governance bodies:

The University Council of the University of Pennsylvania is a deliberative and broadly representative forum which exists to consider the activities of the University in all its phases, with particular attention to the educational objectives of the University and those matters that affect the common interests of faculty, staff and students. It may recommend general policies and otherwise advise the president, the provost, and other officers of the University. It is authorized to initiate policy proposals as well as to express its judgment on those submitted to it by the administrative officers of the University and its various academic divisions.

Students: 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.

Staff: Staff governance consists of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA) and Weekly-Paid Professional Staff Assembly (WPPSA). The PPSA serves monthly paid staff members of the University of Pennsylvania and provides a forum through which staff can engage in dialogue about issues facing the University and higher education. The WPPSA represents all full-time weekly-paid (non-union) professional employees on one of the university’s main decision-making bodies: University Council and its committees.

Faculty: 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.


Total number of individuals on the institution’s highest governing body:
54

Number of students representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
0

Number of academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
0

Number of non-academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
0

Number of women serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
16

Percentage of official members of the highest governing body that are women:
29.63

Website URL where information about the institution’s highest governing body may be found:
Does the institution host or support one or more formal bodies through which external stakeholders have a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them?:
Yes

A brief description of the campus-community council or equivalent body that gives external stakeholders a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them:

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 Office of Government and Community Affairs (OGCA) advances Penn's mission by managing relationships with government and community leaders, advocating for policies and legislation consistent with the University's goals, and shaping local engagement initiatives. This office hosts monthly "First Thursdays" meetings on the first Thursday of every month with the aim of providing a regular opportunity for University and community leaders to exchange information, allow for early and informal issue identification, problem solving, and to look for new shared opportunities. Any member of the community is welcome.


Number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body.:
15

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." 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 Center has also been referenced and noted 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 responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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.