Dickinson College in Carlisle, Cumberland County ranked No. 4 in Overall Top Performers in the most recent Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
Also ranked in the report in other categories were: Chatham University (#2) for Master’s Institutions; Temple University (#9) in Data Accuracy.
Several other Pennsylvania colleges and universities were ranked in the Gold-- Penn State University; Silver-- Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon, Gettysburg College, Haverford College, Muhlenberg College, Slippery Rock University, University Pennsylvania, Villanova University and York University; and Bronze-- Juniata University.
“Our success has come through our commitment to making sustainability integral to a Dickinson education, in and out of the classroom, and providing the resources to make that happen,” says Neil Leary, director of Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education. “We encourage and enable our faculty to continue to be innovative in their teaching, push boundaries and provide opportunities for our students to learn by tackling authentic and challenging sustainability problems on campus, in the community and in the world at large.”
STARS recognizes a small percentage of colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability, and as of July 2016, 398 institutions in nine countries had submitted STARS criteria.
The criteria are then evaluated by AASHE and used to rank the institutions via four broad metrics: academics, engagement, operations and planning & administration.
Dickinson scored 98.7 percent in the Research subcategory, the highest in its group. In the Buildings subcategory, Dickinson earned a 57.9 percent, the second highest in its group and more than 30 percent higher than the national baccalaureate average.
“Our success is partially because we’re not new to the game—we’ve been ‘doing’ sustainability for quite a while,” says Ken Shultes ’89, associate vice president for sustainability & facilities planning. “Going forward we’ll continue to develop and expose the connections between sustainability and the curriculum, the community and the campus to provide our students with the best tools possible to innovate solutions for planetary challenges in the 21st century.”
The AASHE gold-level ranking adds to a long list of sustainability accolades for Dickinson that includes recognition on Sierra magazine's list of Top 20 Cool Schools and the Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll.A copy of the Sustainable Campus Index is available online.