Ten Universities Tackle Gender Inequality
The inaugural HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 University Parity Report highlights the progress of 10 global universities that signed a gender equality pledge. Launched in 2015, the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 is an initiative that convenes 10 university presidents as well as heads of state and CEOs to fast-track gender equality. The group of 10 universities span across eight countries on five continents.
Boston U to Avoid Investments in Carbon-Intensive Fuels
The university's board of trustees recently approved a Climate Action Plan that includes avoiding investments in companies that extract coal and tar sands oil. Additionally, the board calls for the university's endowment investment office to include managers with expertise in renewable energy and technology.
U Southern California Student Center Hires Wellness Dog
The Student Health Center within the university's Office for Wellness and Health Promotion hired its first, full-time wellness dog trained to work with a multitude of people on a regular basis. Research suggests that positive interactions with dogs can create a sense of calm and well-being, and can help remove barriers for students around accessing resources at the student center.
State College Florida Manatee-Sarasota Faculty Favor Unionizing
A recent vote of more than 90 percent of the faculty revealed 75 to 24 were in favor of joining a union affiliated with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. The vote comes a year after the college’s Board of Trustees voted to eliminate its rolling contract system, which means now even long-serving faculty members are on one-year contracts.
Smith College Invests $8.5M of Endowment in Sustainability
In her annual welcome letter, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney announced the college will invest $8.5 million of the endowment in a private equity fund focused on energy efficiency and sustainable manufacturing processes. McCartney's welcome letter also mentions a commitment to a just and inclusive campus and highlights a few key events during the upcoming year to build a campus of inclusion.
Suffolk CC Joins Community Car-Free Day
The community college hosted a discussion about sustainable transportation options available to the community in an effort to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions, which is 30 percent according to a regional sustainability plan.
U Louisville Trustees Approve Interdisciplinary Major
Announced in September 2016, a new Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability will be designed to prepare students for careers in sustainability-related areas such as the environment, energy, climate change, public policy, transportation and urban and regional planning.
Kimberly-Clark Professional* Announces Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! Finalists
Selected from over 220 entries, Oberlin College, University of Washington and a joint submission from Butler University and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis have been named as finalists in the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! contest, which includes a $50,000 grand prize from Kimberly-Clark Professional*. The finalists will present their project before a panel of judges on Oct. 10 at the 2016 AASHE Conference & Expo, where the grand prize winner will be announced.
Dickinson College and Borough Measure Resilience
A beta tool developed by the Rockefeller Foundation and Arup International Development called the City Resilience Index was recently utilized by the college and surrounding borough to measure the community's ability to cope with, manage and adapt to change. The collaboration resulted from the borough asking various constituencies to suggest priority issues to address, of which resilience was one such issue.
Ohio U Building Earns LEED Gold Certification
The new building minimizes consumption of water and energy, project materials contained recycled content, almost 50 percent of materials were manufactured in the region, and the project diverted more than 75 percent of construction waste from entering a landfill.
Brandeis U Composts at All-Campus Event
An early-August barbecue event yielded just one bag of trash despite more than 700 participants due to the university's commitment to increase waste diversion rates. The event featured composting and recycling.
Otto Beisheim School Mgt Opens Building with Sustainable Energy System
(Germany) The new building features a climate control system that includes two wells for groundwater that is used to cool the building. This is coupled with a software-controlled ventilation system that allows the air inside the building to mix with outside air to result in an even distribution of temperature without temperature stratification.
ACC Moves Games Out of North Carolina
In response to a recent North Carolina law that makes it illegal for a person in a publicly owned building to use a restroom that does not correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificate, the ACC Council of Presidents recently joined the NCAA when they announced the relocation of all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. The ACC and NCAA expressed a desire to promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches and fans.
California State U East Bay Helps Under-Resourced Students
After a recent study from the chancellor’s office revealed a small number of the university’s students is homeless, a member of the university's Care Team was appointed to design a program that helps students who are homeless, face food insecurity and/or are financially unstable. In addition to launching a food pantry, organizing drives to provide clothing and toiletries, and addressing emergency housing and financial insecurity, the program aims to also provide students with a sense of community and support.
Brown U Will Consider Undocumented & DACA Students as Domestic Applicants
Beginning with the class entering in fall 2017, the university will consider first-time, first-year undergraduate applicants who hold undocumented or DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status and graduate from a U.S. high school as if they were a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The change means that like first-time, first-year domestic students, undocumented and DACA applicants will be considered under the university’s need-blind admission policy and that Brown will meet 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated financial need upon matriculation.
U New Hampshire Opens Network Leadership Institute
As part of the university's Food Solutions New England (FSNE) initiative, the inaugural Network Leadership Institute aims to raise awareness for the emerging New England food system. The Network Leadership Institute will help stakeholders gain an understanding of how to use the FSNE network, learn skills in facilitative leadership, network leadership and stakeholder engagement, and gain an understanding of the emerging New England food system.
Portland State U Authors Book on University-Community Engagement
Released August 2016 and written by more than 25 university faculty and staff, the book shares the university’s collective successes and challenges in building collaborative campus-community sustainability programs. It aims to help other schools develop programs that connect students and faculty with the needs of local communities.
Michigan State U Students Test Solar Hot Water on Campus
Located in a cold-weather climate with an average of 174 sunny days per year, students, in collaboration with the Sustainability Office, are involved in testing the efficacy of flat plate collectors versus evacuated tubes to determine the best renewable energy solution for campus' hot water.
Marquette U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
Hired to lead Marquette's sustainability efforts, Brent Ribble was recently brought on to advance campus sustainability as it relates to academics, operations, planning and engagement. In addition, the university announced a new interdisciplinary major in environmental studies, that began fall 2016, to help prepare students to address sustainability challenges in their lives and careers.
U New Hampshire Stadium Transitions to Zero Waste
The new football stadium houses 14 concession windows where snacks and beverages are served in either compostable or recyclable containers. Members of student groups and other volunteers, called bin goalies, will be on hand during events to educate guests and keep the zero-waste system working.
U Oregon Adopts ESG Investment Considerations
The university's chief investment officer recently mentioned its new environmental, social and governance considerations for investments, which state that carbon-based investments will expire without renewal. The investment management statement also indicates the university owns no investments in coal.
U Illinois Chicago Reduces GHGs from Waste
By selecting a new, in-state, waste vendor that bakes rather than incinerates the waste to recycle organic compounds and metals, the university is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its hazardous waste.
U Michigan Hosts Zero Waste Event for 5,500 New Students
In an effort to convey a culture of sustainability, more than 5,500 freshmen attended the zero waste picnic sponsored in part by the Office of Sustainability. The event used only recyclable or compostable items, including food, napkins, plates, silverware, compostable plastics and featured the use of a mobile hydration station.
U Calgary Expands Campus Recycling Program
Beginning in fall of 2016, the university will convert all paper & cardboard recycling bins to accept all recyclables, including paper, cardboard, plastics, tin and foil. This expansion to the university's waste reduction and recycling program aligns with a new City of Calgary bylaw requiring all businesses and organizations to recycle a broader list of materials.
Elon U Installs Solar-Powered Unbrellas
The newly installed umbrellas include three weather-proof ports that can charge as many as three devices simultaneously and an LED display indicating how much solar energy is currently stored for charging needs. The umbrellas can also be used at night for six to 16 hours
U Calgary Building Achieves LEED Gold
The university's High Density Library features rainwater and snowmelt capture from the roof and landscaped areas in a stormwater pond that's used then treated through a constructed wetland, high-efficiency lighting and mechanical systems, a light-colored roof membrane to reduce heat absorption and for most staff, a direct line of sight to windows to contribute to a healthy workplace.
U Calgary to Launch Certificate in Sustainability Studies
Expected to launch in 2017, the embedded certificate requires that students take a combination of core courses that explore sustainability in all dimensions and choose elective hours from a listing of over 350 sustainability-focused and -related courses.
Salisbury U Begins New Bike Sharing Service
The new alternative transportation service has been launched with a fleet of 100 bicycles, each individually named after a musician or band, such as Katy Perry or Grateful Dead. The program charges $1 per hour with no distance restrictions. However, when bicycles are returned to the university campus, they must be locked to a sanctioned bike rack.
Seattle U Adjuncts Vote in Favor of Unionizing
The final vote count was 73 to 63 in favor of forming a bargaining unit with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), with some votes from those who teach courses with religious content and specific roles in maintaining the university’s religious educational environment being excluded.
Ohio U Building Earns LEED Silver
The building features a focus on water use reduction, the optimization of the building’s energy performance and indoor environmental quality.
Iona College Completes Green Roof Installation
The result of approximately two years of planning resulted in planters set up on the college's student union roof filled with varietals of Sedums, which are plants well suited to rooftop gardens. The planters are supposed to absorb heat and ease the thermal load of the building.
U North Dakota Launches Social Justice Living Learning Community
The new social justice living learning community is designed for students interested in learning more about and practicing principles of social justice, including issues of equality and diversity involved in promoting a more inclusive and just society and those interested in bringing about positive social change.
Arizona State U & Johnson County CC Win 2016 Climate Leadership Awards
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, in partnership with Second Nature, recently announced that Arizona State University and Johnson County Community College have been recognized for their innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate change mitigation and resilience. Honorable mentions include Huston-Tillotson University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Santa Fe Community College and Southern Oregon University.
Sierra Magazine Releases 2016 Cool Schools List
Open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S., the guide is produced for prospective and current students, administrators and alumni to compare higher education institutions' environmental commitments. The scoring key is a reflection of Sierra Club's broader priorities and awards more weight in the areas of campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel divestment.
INSIGHT Into Diversity Recognizes 82 Institutions for Diversity
The INSIGHT Into Diversity recently announced the 2016 recipients of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
U Washington to Install Three Solar System Test Projects
Three residence halls will be the recipients of photovoltaic arrays to support research on how solar energy can be combined with other demand-side resources, resources such as battery systems. Seattle City Light's Green Up program is contributing $225,000, which enabled the university to compete for the Washington State Department of Commerce Solar Grant Program that is providing $225,000 in matching funds.
Georgetown U President Responds to Its History of Slavery
After a new report was published by the university's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, which cites the school's involvement in the institution of slavery when it sold 272 enslaved people in 1838, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia announced that it will issue an apology, give the descendent community the same admissions process considerations as the Georgetown community, develop a public memorial to the enslaved, and establish a new Institute for the Study of Slavery and Its Legacies. In addition, two campus buildings will be renamed.
Princeton Review Announces 'Green College Honor Roll'
The recently released annual results tally 640 four-year institutions based on a measure of the school's performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution, including these indicators: a campus quality of life, preparation of students for employment in the clean-energy economy, citizenship in a world now defined by environmental concerns and opportunities, and environmentally responsible policies.
U Washington Partners Students with Local Governments
In the year-long partnership with the City of Auburn, students and professors will work on 15-20 projects that seek to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability. Called the Livable City Year program, the initiative is a cross-university collaboration that connects local governments with university classes to address community-identified areas of need.
North Central College Signs Billion Dollar Challenge
The challenge encourages colleges and universities to invest a combined total of $1 billion in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency and other sustainability project improvements. North Central created its own green revolving fund, the Cardinal Sustainability Fund, in 2014, as a means to provide funding for energy efficiency projects that reduce energy consumption on campus. The money saved gets reinvested in future sustainability projects.
Vassar College Endorses 2016 Climate Action Plan
The 2016 Climate Action Plan outlines a path of action for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, including construction of a small-scale hydro facility and a large-scale photovoltaic system within the next two years. To date, the college has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent from 2005 levels.
North Carolina State U Expands Composting in Football Stadium
Building on the success of a compost program piloted last football season, waste stations will be located on the concourse level and staffed by student and community volunteers, who will help fans sort waste into composting, landfill or recycling bins. For the first time inside the stadium, workers who clean up after the game will separate recyclable and compostable materials from landfill items.
Saint Mary's College Adopts Sustainable Purchasing Policy
Adopted summer 2016, the new sustainable purchasing policy supports products and companies that exhibit pro-environmental and social practices. Stakeholder workshops were held with staff to discuss the context of how a purchasing policy will work on campus and outline important next steps towards its implementation.
Furman U Plans to Build 743KW Photovoltaic Array
The 743-kilowatt solar electric system with a cost of $1.7 million was recently approved by the university board of trustees. While Duke Energy is providing a rebate of nearly $1 million, the university expects an eight-year return on its investment. The university has a stated carbon neutrality goal of 2026.
U Utah Building Achieves LEED Platinum
The one-year old building features a 65 percent reduction in energy costs through structural design and passive solar orientation, solar power generation, natural light, recycling and re-using grey water to flush toilets, and a focus on energy efficiency.