President's Sustainability Advisory Council

Effective Fall 2019

Charge

The President's Sustainability Advisory Committee (PSAC) advises the President, via the Provost and the Vice President of Administration and Finance, on sustainability and resilience at Sonoma State University. The PSAC coordinates the work of the three pillars of the Climate Commitment signed in spring 2019 by SSU President Judy K. Sakaki. The Climate Commitment requires three simultaneous efforts organized under three tracks: academic, resilience, and carbon. The PSAC also leads campus efforts to engage the campus and collaborate with surrounding communities on issues related to sustainability and resilience. The Council will develop goals, tactics, timelines, and metrics to support the SSU strategic plan; ensure SSU complies with the Climate Commitment; and develop and support the campus climate action plan. All recommendations shall be made to the Provost and the Vice President of Administration and Finance, with an annual reporting and public communication structure in place to ensure the entire community is aware of the progress and accomplishments of the Council.

Background

In June 2019, President Judy K. Sakaki signed “Building Our Future: Strategic Plan 2025.” The plan highlights the university’s commitments to the core values of diversity and social justice; sustainability and environmental inquiry; connectivity and community engagement; and adaptability and responsiveness. As part of the plan’s implementation, SSU immediately began exploration of the possibility of signing the Second Nature President’s Climate Commitment, which affirms that signatory campuses are committed to “reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by integrating resilience into their curriculum, research, and campus operations will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a vital, ethical, and prosperous civil society.” The Sustainability Executive Committee led the process of analyzing SSU’s readiness for making this commitment. The longstanding dedication to sustainability and resilience at SSU can be seen throughout the institution’s academic programs, co-curricular programming, volunteerism, and community engagement. Leadership for these efforts was provided through the Sustainability Executive Committee, various student organizations, the Center for Environmental Inquiry, the Center for Community Engagement, and many academic departments. This leadership has made it possible for the institution to fully embrace the Climate Commitment. The President's Sustainability Advisory Council will be the body charged with expressing, upholding, and advancing the institution’s full commitment to sustainability, resilience, and adaptability.

Membership

President's Sustainability Advisory Council membership is representative of all campus units and includes students, faculty, and staff. Membership votes are considered to be representative of their constituencies. Members gather input and report back to identified constituencies and are required to serve on a sub-council. Participation by non-council faculty, students, staff, and community members is encouraged as needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the Council. Meetings of the PSAC are open, unless otherwise stated.      

Co-Chairs

Appointed by Provost and Vice President of Administration and Finance

  • Sustainability Program Director (Director of Center for Environmental Inquiry)
  • Director of Resiliency and Sustainability Operations

Faculty

Appointed by Provost

  • Faculty Sustainability Chair

Recommended by Academic Senate for three-year staggered terms

  • Three faculty (ideally from different schools) with expertise, experience, and/or commitment to sustainability and resilience

Students

Appointed by Associated Students for one-year terms

  • Four students with expertise, experience, and/or commitment to sustainability and resilience (ideally representing: Sustainability Senator, Campus Recreation, Residential Life, and Culinary Services)

Staff

Appointed by President

  • Strategic Communications

Appointed by Provost

  • Director of the Center for Community Engagement or designee

Appointed by Vice President for Administration and Finance 

  • Purchasing/Contracts designee
  • Culinary Services designee
  • Transportation and Parking designee
  • Conference and Events Services designee

Appointed by Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Housing designee
  • Campus Life designee

Appointed by Vice President for Advancement

  • Director of Development or designee

Appointed by Executive Director of the Green Music Center

  • Green Music Center designee

Appointed by Staff Council

  • Staff member with expertise, experience, and/or commitment to sustainability and resilience

Student terms are for one year. All other appointed terms are for three years, with half of the initial appointed terms being for two years to ensure staggered membership terms over time. No more than two consecutive terms may be served by faculty, students, or staff recommended by Academic Senate, Associated Students, or Staff Council. After a one-year hiatus, a member may request to be recommended again by the relevant body.

Meeting Schedule

The full Council meets up to six times during the academic year. Sub-councils are expected to work outside of the regular meetings. For groups whose work occurs year-round, meetings will occur during the summer as needed and desired.

First-Year Goals/Tasks

In the first year of existence, the Council will:

  1. Establish a vision and mission that informs the work of the Council and campus.
  2. Establish a governance structure guiding attendance, member expectations, communication mechanisms, and other procedural matters.
  3. Develop and execute a plan to create the three required sub-councils that form the pillars for the Climate Commitment: carbon, resilience, and academic, as well as a sub-council for marketing, communications and outreach in support of the Council.
  4. Draft a strategic plan for the Council which meets the requirements of the President's Climate Leadership Commitment and supports the CSU Sustainability Policy and SSU Strategic Plan.
  5. Review the GHG inventory and ensure it is completed and maintained.
  6. Begin to develop a Climate Action Plan, expected completion by March 31, 2022.

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