The University has been recognized as a STARS Silver Institution by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Across six continents, over 650 institutions participate in the AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program to gauge their progress toward sustainability and to assess areas of strength and opportunity. The STARS program evaluates an institution in the areas of Academics, Engagement, Operations, Planning & Administration, and Innovation.
The University’s STARS report is publicly available at https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/university-of-rochester-ny/report/2016-01-06/.
The University received its highest rating—100 percent of the possible points— in the Campus Engagement category, a category recognizing an institution’s ability to provide students and staff with sustainability learning experiences beyond formal curriculum requirements. STARS also recognized the Medical Center’s program as a best practice due to its support of global health using big data.
The University has been working toward STARS recognition for several years. This achievement was made possible with the help of multiple department leaders and sustainability interns.
Director of Facilities and Services Support Operations Patricia Beaumont helped spearhead the application process. Beaumont states, “The University has found great value in the AASHE STARS rating system.” Beaumont affirms that, “The Sustainability Council is using the results of the STARS survey to identify priority areas for improvement in academics and operations as part of a year-long sustainability planning process.”
According to Director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf, “Completing the AASHE STARS reporting tool was a great learning experience for everyone involved and for the University Council on Sustainability. It allowed us to systematically evaluate where the University stands relative to sustainability and sustainable initiatives. While we are pleased that we achieved a Silver rating, we are even more excited to have a roadmap for future improvement.”
Written by Darya Nicol, class of 2016