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OSU has attained a Gold rating in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. It was the first school in Oregon to submit its report.
STARS is a set of peer reviewed, standardized indicators that help measure, and therefore manage, sustainability efforts within higher education institutions. It is a is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability, developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with broad participation from the higher education community.
STARS is designed to:
- Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
- Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.
- Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
- Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
- Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.
The STARS framework is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada – from community colleges to research universities, and from institutions just starting their sustainability programs to long-time campus sustainability leaders. STARS encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability.
OSU is participating in the STARS program as a charter participant and is expected to perform a campus wide assessment every two years starting in Summer 2010. OSU's submission deadline for the first report is January 31, 2011. STARS will allow OSU to gauge progress towards sustainability and also put us on a path to become a more sustainable campus over time. This goals and system align with guidance and directives from President Ray and Provost Randhawa and also are in line with the OSU Strategic Plan
OSU's STARS Timeline
- Summer 2010: The Sustainability Office began the data gathering process during summer 2010. This included the identification of stakeholders throughout campus that have information needed to complete STARS reporting. Data collection from most sources occurred during July, August and September.
- Fall 2010: During fall term, data collection continued and followup from summer data requests were made. Recommendations for feasible, immediate institutional changes to achieve additional STARS points were made throughout the fall and winter. Some of the most challenging aspects of STARS included defining "sustainability research and sustainability related and sustainabiltiy focused courses. The Sustainability Office convened teams of researchers and teaching faculty to help create and refine these definitions. With these definitions, Sustainability Office staff reviewed thousands of courses and hundreds of research projects to determine what aspects of the research or teaching activity included elements of sustainability.
- January 31, 2011: Report submitted. OSU was the first and only school in Oregon to submit our STARS report on time, by the January 31 deadline. This first deadline represents the first round of STARS participants.