Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.63 / 3.00 Jake Holweger
Sustainability Intern
Office of 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:

Board of Visitors
The Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors (“the Board”) is composed of sixteen (16) voting members appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. Each member serves a term of four years. In addition, each year the Board selects a student, a faculty member, and a staff member to serve as nonvoting advisory representatives on the Board of Visitors.
As public trustees the Board has the responsibility and authority, subject to constitutional and statutory limitations, for the continuing operation, development of evolving policies, and financial oversight of Virginia Commonwealth University ("the University"). The Board appoints a President to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the University.
The Board and the University are at all times subject to the control and legislative enactments of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Board in executing their duties has adopted the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors Bylaws to provide for the orderly, consistent, and efficient conduct of its business as the governing body of the University.
URL: https://president.vcu.edu/board/bylaws/

Student Government Association
The VCU SGA is a self-governing body within the VCU community and serves as voice for the VCU student body. Its members are elected from the members of the student body and given the authority to act on their behalf. As a self-governing body, we believe that we are self-determinate in our authority and autonomy while being active participants in the shared-governance of the University.
URL: https://sga.vcu.edu/constitution-/

Faculty Senate
Purpose: Connecting faculty to VCU administration and to each other
The purpose of the Faculty Senate shall be the furtherance and dissemination of knowledge and professional skills through teaching, study, research, creativity, exhibition, performance, and provision of community service. An additional objective will be to help insure through investigation, examination, comment and recommendation that the educational goal of the University is being realized by the policies and procedures employed in the University.
URL: https://facultysenate.vcu.edu/

Staff Senate
VCU Staff Senate is an organization of engaged and enthusiastic staff and team members from across the university’s diverse community. We are committed to taking our place alongside faculty, administrators and students to enhance our university culture.
Main goals:
- To be a representative body for staff; encourages staff to serve on university committees
- To provide a forum for the exchange of university information
- To provide referrals for staff questions or concerns; and
- To advocate for staff issues across the university including, but not limited to, professional development, shared university governance, and workplaces that foster a spirit of respect, dignity, unity and collaboration.
- Our interests and goals are as diverse as our membership. Senators serve on committees across both campuses with representatives from the student body, faculty and administration. Senators work towards achieving the goals and initiatives outlined in the university’s strategic plan, Together We Transform.
URL: https://staffsenate.vcu.edu/about-us/

United Campus Workers of Virginia: VCU Chapter
United Campus Workers at VCU is committed to a shared fight for economic and education justice on VCU’s campus. We believe all workers have a right to fair wages and dignified working conditions. We believe all of our students have a right to accessible, enriching education that prioritizes just outcomes for our learning community.
VCU was formed through a merger of institutions (the Medical College of Virginia and the Richmond Professional Institute) in the hopes that a centrally-located public university would benefit all residents of our state’s capital. Our institution’s founding goals were to create a pathway to a better life for everyday Richmonders, and to expand the reach of high-quality public education beyond the prestige institutions built by the state's founding political leadership. Our members work to advance this vision of our university as a home for academic excellence and a place to uplift our community through sustainable, just employment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?:

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

The Annual VCU Neighborhood Forum provides an opportunity for VCU officials and community members to exchange information and listen to each other.

Community members from VCU’s surrounding neighborhoods gather each year for an update and open dialogue with Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. This annual event, hosted by the Division of Community Engagement (DCE), provides an opportunity for VCU officials and community members to provide input on the development of new capital projects, VCU Police initiatives, public programs and any other activities that impact or may be of interest to the surrounding community.

Last year, 26 community members, representing more than seven neighborhood associations and organizations, attended the event.

VCU provides this opportunity for neighborhood input to demonstrate the sustained commitment to building relationships with the local community.

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.