In Fall 2012 President Harrison requested the Institute for Sustainability and its affiliates draft a sustainability plan for the University. A planning team comprising faculty, staff and administrators was assembled and research conducted on a template for the plan. A structure was adopted and chapter authors recruited for ten focus areas. Over the next three months data were gathered on existing institutional practices and goals set by comparable institutions. Ideas were solicited from a broad group of interested participants and an extensive list of action items was drafted with consideration of the AASHE STARS credit system.
The draft plan was presented to university planning and governance committees which were asked to consider the plan and participate in item prioritization. After broad priorities were established by interested parties, small focus groups representing a range of campus interests were formed and asked to critically review specific areas of the plan, such as energy, water, waste, dining etc. These groups assessed costs and benefits of individual action items and based on these, participants were asked to rank the action items. The plan and implementation priorities were finalized in May 2013, and ten working groups were formed to address the priorities in each focus area of the plan.