AASHE & the STARS designation

stars overviewUTRGV's Silver STAR--50.39, Awarded August 28, 2015

STARS only provides positive, public recognition - each level of recognition represents significant sustainability leadership. Participating in STARS, which includes gathering extensive data and sharing it publicly, represents a commitment to sustainability that should be applauded. 

STARS Overview

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS®) is a transparent, intensive, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of colleges and universities—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.

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 international 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.

UTRGV's New AASHE Assessment, AY 2016-17

The AASHE STARS framework creates wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary initiatives infusing sustainable development, and underscores our institution’s positive contributions in protecting the well-being for our institution and region.  Every two years, UTRGV completes a university-wide assessment of sustainable development across the campus.  We do this by survey and interviews, gather pertinent data and metrics to provide a full picture of the progress that our institution has made since the last assessment.  A team of research assistants through the Office for Sustainability gathers this information. 

OFS is in the midst of the next assessment period for our new rating which will be granted by Fall 2017.  OFS is launching a campaign to collect data from all areas of our campus that will build on the Silver STAR we have been awarded.  Our goal is GOLD!  And you can help us by participating in the data collection through our surveys and interviews. 

Not only will this collection of information and data help with the AASHE STARS Assessment, but it will also help build sustainable development into every fiber of our campus and community.  It provides us with a platform of information to build our Campus Sustainability Action Plan which supports UTRGV's mission and strategic plan to transform the Rio Grande Valley, the Americas, and the world through innovative and accessible educational environment that promotes:

  • Student Success
  • Research
  • Creative works
  • Health & well-being
  • Community engagement, and
  • Sustainable development

For more information, please go to the AASHE website.