AASCU Announces Program to Assess Political Learning & Engagement
The American Democracy Project (ADP), a program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), recently announced a new two-year initiative to work with 12 AASCU campuses over two years to pilot processes for engaging campus communities in measuring, understanding and improving campus climates in order to prepare students to be informed, engaged citizens.
U Wisconsin-Madison Introduces Free Tuition Program
Beginning in fall 2018, Wisconsin residents admitted as a new student with an adjusted gross family income of $56,000 or less will have tuition and some fees waived. Those that qualify, however, will have to pay for books, housing and other living expenses.
CUMU Higher Education Anchor Mission Pilot Initiative
The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) invites its members to participate in a pilot program aimed at advancing anchor mission approaches within the institution and the community it serves. With access to facilitated peer learning exchanges, tools and strategies, institutions participating in the pilot year will help to co-design a set of activities to develop innovations for the field. The deadline to apply to participate is Feb. 23.
Creighton U Welcomes Inaugural VP for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion
Christopher M. Whitt, Ph.D., joins the university this month as the its first vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Most recently, Whitt served as an associate professor and department chair in Political Science at Augustana College. He also founded and directed the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity at Augustana.
13 North American Universities Form Climate Action Coalition
The University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) is a group of 13 North American research universities, each of whom will convene a climate change forum in 2018 tailored to meet local and regional objectives shared across sectors and will aim to speed the implementation of research-driven climate policies and solutions. A coalition-wide report, to be released in late 2018, will synthesize the best practices, policies and recommendations from all UC3 forums into a framework for continued progress on climate change goals across the nation and the world. The UC3 will operate in close partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network.
U Edinburgh Divests Fossil Fuel Holdings
(U.K.) The university recently announced that it will sell its final $8.7 million (6.3 million British pounds) of fossil fuel holdings, making it completely free of all coal, oil and gas holdings. This announcement comes after its 2015 decision to divest from companies involved in coal and tar sands.
Princeton Environmental Ideathon
Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply for the Princeton Environmental Ideathon, a program where students, along with academics and industry leaders, will address environmental challenges and propose solutions to developing a more sustainable modern city. The program runs from April 13-15 at Princeton University. The deadline to apply is March 1.
College William & Mary Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations
Under a new plan, W&M and the student group Take Back the Tap are working together to install water bottle filling stations in every high-traffic building on campus. New buildings and major renovations on campus now include a requirement for at least one bottle-filling station. Currently there are 52 filling stations on the W&M campus and three at W&M’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Harvard U Announces Fossil-Free Climate Action Plan
Recommendations from a climate change task force informed a new set of climate commitments that the university recently adopted - a long-term goal of being fossil fuel-free by 2050 and a short-term goal of climate neutrality by 2026.
U Helsinki Establishes Institute of Sustainability Science
(Finland) The newly formed Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science seeks to solve global sustainability issues by focusing primarily on the study of cities, the global south and Arctic areas, systems of sustainable consumption and production, and the theory and methods of sustainability science. Ten new professorships are being established in conjunction with the new institute, connecting nearly 200 researchers from six different faculties.
Green Office Implementation Online Course
The online course from rootAbility and Leuphana University Lüneburg aims to help students and staff establish a student-led sustainability team that works alongside them on student engagement and communication. The program is based on the Green Office Model, which won the 2015 UNESCO Prize on Education for Sustainable Development.
Northern Arizona U Initiates Collaboration to Benefit Pollinators
The Office of Sustainability manages the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative, an initiative that promotes the creation, protection and registration of pollinator habitat across Northern Arizona. Two pollinator gardens have been installed–one on campus and one in the community. The program recently secured a grant that will pay wages to the part-time director and for the creation of a regional pollinator plan.
Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments
Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments is a book that seeks to confront the contexts that make environmental pedagogies difficult, the challenges to the well-being of the teacher-scholar, and the corrosive academic structures that compartmentalize knowledge and people. The collection simultaneously offers models for working through and within these challenges to advance understandings and ways of being on local, global and personal levels.
Call for Abstracts: Symposium on Sustainability in University Campuses
The second Symposium on Sustainability in University Campuses, themed transforming campuses towards sustainable development, is accepting abstract proposals for its December 2018 conference in Italy. The aim of the conference is to demonstrate the role of campuses as platforms for transformative social learning and research, and explore the means by which university campuses can be made more sustainable. Abstracts are due March 25.
Survey on Sustainability Initiatives of Higher Education Institutions
This survey is collecting data related to introducing and maintaining the sustainable development strategies and activities at different universities. It will catalog and examine the different challenges and opportunities for integrating sustainability into the institution, whether throughout the whole organization or in a partial manner.
AASHE Publishes 2017 Annual Report
AASHE’s recently released annual report details accomplishments and progress throughout 2017, spotlighting STARS, educational and professional development opportunities, the AASHE Sustainability Awards, the 2017 conference and expo, resources, a membership profile and information about two news initiatives launched last year – a mentorship program and the AASHE Affiliates program.
North Carolina State U Launches Composting Program in Campus Apartments
Residents of a campus apartment complex now have access to kitchen composting courtesy of a compost collection program started by a student. So far, about 60 apartments are participating in the program, which requires residents to empty their containers in an outdoor composting dumpster. The material is then transported to a nearby composting facility for processing.
California State U Northridge Rolls Out Bike Rental Program
In mid-January, LimeBike delivered 400 bicycles to the campus that are now part of a rental program to provide an alternative mode of transportation to the campus community. There is no membership fee required, however the rental fee is 50 cents per half hour with no time limit. Solar-powered GPS units will allow the university to determine where bike lanes are most needed.
U Maryland Secures $18.3M for Energy Conservation Projects
The Maryland Clean Energy Center has allocated $18.3 million to the university for the development of an energy-efficiency project across eight buildings. The project includes LED lighting upgrades, water conservation measures and lab ventilation controls upgrades. The project will reduce campus-wide energy consumption by approximately six percent.
Northern Arizona U Pilots Reusable Containers
In an effort to reduce waste and recycling, the university implemented a program in January 2018 to gauge student interest in using reusable containers. Students pay a one-time fee of $5 for a container that can be used at several dining facilities. The NAU Green Fund spearheaded the campaign to get the container system on campus.
Duke U Partners With Delta Airlines on Carbon Offset Initiative
The university and Delta Airlines covered the cost of 1,000 trees that will be planted in Duke's hometown of Durham, North Carolina. The purchase, facilitated by Urban Offsets, simultaneously offsets carbon from all university business travel on Delta in 2017. The 1,000 trees are equal to 5,000 carbon credits and will be planted during the 2017-18 planting season in neighborhoods found to have insufficient tree cover, according to a 2016 survey by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
U Rhode Island Building Earns LEED Gold
The university’s newly certified Chemical and Forensic Sciences Center contains exhaust hoods and snorkels with sensors that activate them when teaching and learning laboratories are in use and power them down when they are idle, occupancy sensors for interior lighting, LED technology for exterior lights, and a rain garden.
Moraine Valley CC Achieves Arboretum Accreditation
The community college was recently acknowledged with Arboretum Accreditation-Level I status through the ArbNet program. The accreditation acknowledges the school's effort to have a healthy and robust tree canopy, while providing educational opportunities about the trees. Thus far, 1,322 trees in 77 distinct species have been mapped while efforts are still underway to identify and map more area.