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Planning, Administration and Engagement

Dominican University of California has the following sustainability-related administrative practices that are recognized by AASHE STARS:

Coordination and Planning    Diversity and Affordability    Human Resources    Public Engagement

COORDINATION AND PLANNING

  • Sustainability Coordination

Dominican has a committee named the Campus Sustainability and Utilization Policy Committee (CSUPC). Its purpose is to support Dominican University of California in becoming an environmentally sustainable campus. Its role is to serve as a resource to the university's governance system by assessing environmentally-focused policies, procedures and practices leading to the development of plans of action that will help Dominican to become a model of environmental sustainability.
Dominican also has a Sustainability Coordinator, who is a faculty member working out of Dominican's Center for Sustainability. The responsibilities of the position include helping manage external relationships, including the center's public relations program and working on funding issues, and administering sustainability education and research grants for Dominican faculty, if grants are available. With the assistance of the advisory board, the coordinator also helps the design of new programs and services to be offered by the Center, as well as evaluates and refines existing programs and services. The faculty coordinator works under the leadership of the Center for Sustainability Director, who is also the Dean of the School of Business and Leadership.

  • Strategic Plan

Dominican's current strategic plan includes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability at a high level. The executive summary for Dominican'ss Strategic Plan states:  "The Strategic Plan will be the roadmap for achieving a financially sustainable university that is fully prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century." The highest level of the Strategic Plan consists of nine vision themes, and Vision Theme 1 is Financially Sustainable University. The plan provides an explanation of how the realization of each of the other vision-themes will create the end result of financial sustainability for the university.
The mission statement included in the plan addresses sustainability, as it reads, "Dominican University of California educates and prepares students to be ethical leaders and socially-responsible global citizens who incorporate the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service into their lives. Guided by its Catholic heritage, the university is committed to diversity, sustainability, and the integration of the liberal arts, the sciences and professional programs." The plan is also infused with social sustainability by emphasizing and prioritizing the experience and welfare of the people at the institution, namely the students. Vision Theme 4 is Student Intellectual and Personal Growth.
Environmental sustainability is included in the key performance indicators for Vision Theme 7: State-of-the-Art Facilities and Processes. The key performance indicator is Carbon Footprint, which sets goals for reductions in emissions. The strategic initiative created to help meet this performance goal includes developing and adopting a campus-wide greening project, including a transportation plan, leading to a Sustainability Campus Leadership Award from AASHE.

  • Sustainability Plan

Dominican's sustainability action plan was modified in 2010 and approved by a committee of faculty, staff and students. The plan includes three main strategic initiatives, which are the following: 1) infusing sustainability in the campus-wide education and research, 2) transforming campus operations to include sustainability principles, and 3) sustainability planning, administration and engagement. The strategic initiatives are aligned with categories of the STARS assessment, and the desired outcome of the initiatives is to achieve the highest rating possible for Dominican in 5 years. The plan includes detailed implementation steps for each of the initiatives, with measures of success, responsible parties, a timeline and resources needed.

DIVERSITY AND AFFORDABILITY

  • Diversity and Equity Coordination

The diversity office at Dominican is the Center for Diversity Initiatives, which is run by the Diversity Coordinator.  The Center makes recommendations for institutional diversity policies and practices and provides mentoring and counseling to faculty, staff and students on diversity issues. It develops and oversees campus diversity initiatives, events, clubs and professional development. The Diversity Coordinator addresses curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular areas. The coordinator also develops and leads diversity training for both faculty and staff and teaches courses on diversity in the education department.

  • Measuring Campus Diversity Culture

The Diversity Campus Climate Survey was last conducted in fall 2011, and the plan is to conduct it every 2-4 years. It consists of questions that deal with all aspects of diversity on campus, such as race and ethnicity, sex and gender, harassment, and disabilities, and the experience and climate around these issues. The Diversity Coordinator works with the Diversity Action Committee to present the findings from the survey and make recommendations. Data from the survey was used to inform the Diversity Plan for 2011-2015. The Diversity Coordinator also ensures that the administration supports the plan and provides directives campus-wide.

  • Employee Training Opportunities

The Director of Campus Diversity Initiatives offers one workshop each semester, open to both faculty and staff, on cultural competence topics ranging from inclusive customer service to diversity sensitive hiring processes to diversifying the curricula. Customized workshops or classes related to cultural competence are also offered as requested.  

  • Student Training Opportunities

The Director of Campus Diversity Initiatives offers two volunteer internships every semester to work in the Center for Diversity, and then those students act as agents of change on campus, educating other students. The Director of Campus Diversity Initiatives also visits clubs and conducts cultural competency workshops; he is the general adviser for all Culture Focus Clubs, providing training and resources for them. Additionally, there are many educational, cultural events on campus that promote cultural competency.

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Sustainable Compensation

Out of the 705 employees working on campus, which also include contractors' employees, 629 are sustainably compensated. Dominican follows the San Francisco Living Wage for all employees. It is a practice at Dominican that employees are paid according to the labor market or above it. Moreover, every three years Dominican studies the labor market to survey compensation at other colleges in the region.

  • Employee Satisfaction Evaluation

Human Resources conducts an employee satisfaction survey every year. It covers issues such as compensation, job satisfaction, benefits, work/life balance, shared governance, communication, fairness and respect. The results of the survey are reviewed and used to make proposals for changes to the President's cabinet.

  • Staff Professional Development in Sustainability

A Sustainability Workshop is offered annually to all staff. The Human Resources department and the sustainability governance committee (CSUPC) work together in organizing the training workshop.

  • Sustainability in New Employee Orientation

Guidance materials about campus sustainability principles and practices are distributed and discussed at each quarterly New Hire Welcome Luncheon.

  • Employee Wellness Program

Dominican offers the Penguin Passport to Wellness, which attempts to put wellness at employees' fingertips through activities, policies and partnerships that foster a culture of wellness in the university community. It consists of a variety of opportunities offered by professionals, such as health educators, nutritionists and exercise teachers, which are made available to employees. Dominican also offers a service called Ability Assist, which is a confidential hotline for counseling on personal, legal and financial matters, and for obtaining referrals.

  • Socially Responsible Retirement Program

Employees at Dominican can choose The Social Choice Equity Account, which will invest their money in socially responsible companies. Employees decide how the money gets invested.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

  • Community Sustainability Partnerships

Dominican's Service Learning Program has a variety of partnerships in the local community.  One example is the partnership with the Marin County Community School and Phoenix Academy, where the organizations collaborated to develop a structured program for marginalized teen populations that provides both academic enrichment and raises self-esteem and confidence.

  • Sustainability in Continuing Education

The School of Business and Leadership offers a continuing education program, the Sustainable Practices Certificate program. This program provides participants with the opportunity to create meaningful, enduring change in their workplace, community and personal lives. In addition to learning about important concepts of sustainability, participants gain practical and applicable skills while working closely with businesses, government and non-profits in the Bay Area.

  • Community Service Participation

Currently, 463 of Dominican's 2,153 students are engaged in community service.

  • Community Service Hours

The current number of student community service hours contributed during a one-year period (FY 2011-2012) is 10,731.

  • Community Service on Transcripts

Students at Dominican who are enrolled in Service Learning designated classes receive a notation on their transcript that indicates their participation in the classes.


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