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Memorandum March 5, 2012

AU Community
Neil Kerwin, President
Project Team: Business Practices Social Responsibility and Service

On January 17, 2012, I issued a statement of policy on social responsibility in the conduct of American University's business practices. At that time I indicated I would name a working group to assist in the implementation of those principles. This communication announces the charge of that working group that will be a formal project team of the university.

This team will contribute to the university's ability to secure and manage high quality supplies and services in a manner that minimizes cost to the institution and is compatible with the principles outlined in goal seven of our strategic plan, "Acting on our values through social responsibility and service," and the above mentioned Statement of Social Responsibility and Business Practices.

The team's role is advisory to the university administration and its membership will consist of faculty, students, staff, and alumni knowledgeable in matters of social responsibility. The team will have access to resource persons who have responsibility for various aspects of procurement and acquisition of goods and services for the university.

The project team's charge is as follows:

  • develop a full understanding of the university's existing policies and practices that incorporate principles of social responsibility in our business operations using resource persons and reports, as necessary
  • provide information, advice, and recommendations to university officials on current or emerging social issues that should be taken into account when securing goods and services
  • serve as a point of contact for members of the university community who wish to provide information or express concerns about social responsibility impacts of the university's policies or practices
  • provide one representative to committees and panels established by the Office of Vice President for Finance and Treasurer to ensure effective communication for certain large, long-term contracts not governed by existing explicit agreements or legal obligations
  • consider and make recommendations on how our service to the District of Columbia can be enhanced through our own efforts or in collaboration with business partners
  • provide annual reports on its activities to the CFO/VPFT that will be posted for review for the entire university community
  • make recommendations on changes to general policies, including the Statement of Social Responsibility and the two-year objectives related to goal seven of the strategic plan

Over the next several weeks I will work to establish the membership of this project team, consulting broadly with the leadership of the major constituencies and divisions of the university. Don't hesitate to contact me with any additional ideas you might have. I expect the first organizational meeting of the project team will be held shortly after spring break. That meeting and the membership of the project team will be announced to the community via various communications channels.