Michigan State U & U California Win 2018 Green Power Leadership Award
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency bestowed its Green Power Leadership Award to the two universities for their efforts in advancing the voluntary green power market. MSU hosts the largest solar photovoltaic carport system in the U.S. through a long-term power purchase agreement and operates an anaerobic digestion system that turns dairy farm and dining hall food waste into renewable energy. UC increased its voluntary green power use by 40 percent system-wide, completed 12 new on-site solar projects, and hosts more than 40 megawatts of on-site solar capacity with photovoltaic systems at every campus.
Southern Oregon U Signs Real Food Commitment
By signing up for the Real Food Challenge, the university agreed that at least 20 percent of its food budget by 2023 will be spent on “real food”. To get there, the university will establish a transparent reporting system and file an annual progress report to evaluate its food purchasing practices; create a food systems working group that will develop a “real food" policy and multi-year action plan; and increase awareness of ecologically sustainable, humane and socially equitable food systems.
Golden Door Scholarship Program
Golden Door Scholars is a nonprofit that provides large college scholarships to high-performing DACA students. This year the program will award up to 50 scholarships to DACA students across the country who are starting or continuing college in fall 2019. Eligible students may be currently enrolled in college pursuing an undergraduate degree, high school seniors or recent high school graduates. The deadline to apply is Oct. 25.
Divest Ed Program
Divest Ed is a new training and strategy hub for the national coordination of campus divestment campaigns. The program will provide leadership development and resources to divestment campaigns across the U.S.
Cornell U Launches Environment & Sustainability Sciences Major
A new interdisciplinary program for environmental and sustainability sciences launched with the support of Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences this fall. The major also includes a brand-new concentration in humanities, opening opportunities for students to explore how art, literature, music and communication influence how humans perceive and respond to environmental issues.
San Francisco State U Receives $60K for Textile Waste Diversion
With a $60,000 grant from the San Francisco Department of the Environment, two faculty founded the Wear Movement, a project dedicated to extending the lifecycle of clothing. Students run a weekly pop-up event to collect and sell clean clothing that students, faculty and staff contribute.
Cornell U Unveils Sustainable Landscapes Trail
The trail includes 20 stops that have sustainability features, including bioswales, rain gardens, green roofs, a climate change garden, stormwater control design, native plantings and pollinator habitat. Markers and an online walking map highlight how design, construction and the management of campus grounds can enhance and promote healthy landscape ecosystems.
U Waterloo Opens Vegan-Vegetarian Restaurant
The university's first restaurant dedicated to vegan and vegetarian cuisine, called FRSH, focuses all menu items on low-impact options such as salads, flatbreads and hot bowls. Though a couple dishes contain dairy, all menu items feature plant-based proteins. The change comes after students and employees expressed increasing interest in more vegan and vegetarian options on campus.
U College Cork Opens Plastic-Free Cafe
(Ireland) The university's Bio Green Cafe was renovated in August 2018 and reopened as a plastic-free cafe after having implementing a number of strategies to totally eliminate all single-use plastic. Measures include replacing plastic drink bottles with glass and cans, removing disposable cutlery and plastic sauce packets, using ceramic mugs for hot beverages, and eliminating plastic-wrapped snacks.
U Exeter Launches Center for Circular Economy
(U.K.) The new center, hosted by the university's business school, aims to support the circular economy research agenda through new educational programs including MOOCs, executive and leadership programs, undergraduate courses and doctoral training. The current research focus is on farming and food, building and construction, waste, and regional approaches to circular economic regeneration.
New Issue: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
The latest issue of Volume 19 includes a study on university residence hall plastics recycling, a study concluding that teaching about public engagement in the classroom is critical, research on reducing food waste in buffet-style university dining halls, and a literature review on student-led action for sustainability in higher education.
Pennsylvania State U Announces 2 MW Solar Project
The two-megawatt utility-scale photovoltaic project will provide one percent of University Park's campus electric needs. Included in the project will be an educational kiosk supporting academic instruction and research, sharing real-time performance data of the array.
U Virginia Convenes 'Universities Studying Slavery' Consortium
Bringing together over 40 colleges and universities from across the country, the consortium seeks to allow institutions to work together as they examine the role of slavery and racism in their histories and its impacts today. The consortium hosts semi-annual meetings to share strategies, research, and knowledge. The fall 2018 meeting will be held at Tougaloo College in Mississippi.
U Southern California Releases Public Universities Equity Scorecard
The University of Southern California's Race and Equity Center's new report, "Black Students at Public Colleges and Universities: A 50-state report card", is a publication that grades the nation's public, four-year universities using federal data from all 50 states and provides an equity index score. The four equity indicators are representation equity, gender equity, completion equity, and black student-to-black faculty ratio.
12-Institution Consortium Receives $4.9M for Open Textbook Pilot Program
The Education Department recently announced that a consortium of 12 universities, led by the University of California Davis, will receive $4.9 million to expand a STEM-focused open textbook repository called LibreTexts by adding publications on STEM, career and technical topics. The other schools are American River College, Contra Costa College, Cosumnes River College, Diablo Valley College, Folsom Lake College, Hope College, Los Medanos College, Prince George's Community College, Sacramento City College, Saint Mary's College, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
A Global Snapshot of Circular Economy Learning Offerings in Higher Education
Research from Tim Forslund, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Research Analyst, captures current circular economy learning offerings from 136 higher education institutions, taught in the languages of English, Dutch, Finnish and Chinese. The work shows that most of the learning offerings are found in the space of more traditional sustainability-related studies, engineering, business and design.
Columbia U Postdoc Students Vote to Unionize
The National Labor Relations Board announced recently that postdoctoral workers and associate research scientists voted 729-339 in favor of joining the Columbia Postdoctoral Workers-United Auto Workers Union. This is the first certified postdoctoral union at a private university.
Students for Zero Waste Travel Scholarship
Eligible students can apply for a scholarship, up to $400, to attend the Students for Zero Waste Conference, happening in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Nov. 2-3, 2018. Preference will be given to groups of people who are sharing a ride, traveling far distances and/or presenting workshops. The deadline to apply is Oct. 12.
Campus Food Pantries: Insights From a National Survey
This report demonstrates that significant financial, physical and personnel resources are being invested in campus pantries. The College and University Food Bank Alliance members who participated in this survey helped to shed light on the work involved in operating pantries and offered valuable insight into how to improve them. The College and University Food Bank Alliance provides support, training and resources to campus-based food banks and pantries and other food-insecurity initiatives that primarily serve students.
U Minnesota Twin Cities Installing Solar at 9 Campus Sites
The nine sites span the East Bank, West Bank and St. Paul campuses. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Equivalency Calculator, the electricity generated from the nine locations will produce enough energy annually to power 224 homes. In addition to the new on-site solar panels, the university also purchased more than 20 megawatts of community solar power from outside sources.
Duke U No Longer Requires Job Applicants to Disclose Criminal History
Effective Nov. 1, 2018, the university and its healthcare system will no longer ask individuals whether they have ever been convicted of a crime as part of the process of applying for employment. Duke will continue to conduct background checks on criminal history, government sanctions and driving records when relevant at the offer stage for finalists of staff and faculty positions who have been recommended for hire, although a criminal record does not necessarily preclude someone from being hired.
New Website: People of Color in Environmental and Climate Justice
The People of Color (POC) Environmental Justice and Climate Justice Resource Persons Database is a repository for potential speakers, advisory board members, fellowship recipients, technical assistance providers and staff members. The site also allows for people to sign up to be added to the databases–environmental and climate justice professionals, graphic notetakers, and anti-oppression, diversity, equity and inclusion professionals.
U North Carolina System Promotes College Affordability Plans
The NC Promise tuition plan lowers undergraduate tuition to $500 per semester for in-state students and $2,500 per semester for out-of-state students at Elizabeth City State University, University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Western Carolina University. The Fixed Tuition Program dictates that tuition will remain the same all four years at a UNC System university. Both of these programs are part of the "We Promise" campaign launched in early October to promote affordable college opportunities for all North Carolinians.
Delta College Receives Bee Campus USA Certification
Campus ground crews have been steadily increasing wildflower-planted areas and native plant habitat, as well as designating pollinator habitat, that have enable the college to obtain the Bee Campus USA certification. The college undertook seven steps including establishing a committee, developing a plan, sponsoring student service-learning projects and installing signage around campus.
Energy Efficiency Retrofit Implementation in Buildings Survey
As part of the dissertation of Lysandra Amanta Medal, a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, this survey aims to collect information about decision processes related to prioritizing building energy-efficiency retrofit projects. Participants can be those that manage the building operations and maintenance, participate in selecting energy-efficiency or other building upgrades, or provide services to help organizations make energy-efficiency or other building upgrades. Participants may choose to be entered in a drawing to win one of 15 Starbucks gift cards (valued at $20). The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
RecycleMania is a friendly competition dedicated to improving recycling and waste reduction efforts at colleges and universities. For eight weeks each spring, hundreds of schools across the country rally the campus to recycle, compost and reduce waste in an effort to beat rival campuses.
Call for Contributions: Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals
The Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want will be published by Springer as part of the World Sustainability Series. It will contain a volume on each one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Each SDG will have 100 terms associated with it. Contributing authors will be assigned one term from the selected SDG. Interested scholars need to submit an expression of interest that includes the SDG toward which they want to contribute.
Indiana U Boosts Wellness With 3-Week Challenge
The three-week challenge will start at the beginning of October and aims to encourage everyday physical activities that benefit human health and the environment. Free for all members of the IU community to participate, the challenge focuses on one form of sustainable physical activity per week.
Southern Oregon U to Install 392 KW of Photovoltaics
Three new photovoltaic arrays, amounting to a 57 percent increase in solar generating capacity for the school, will have a total capacity of 391.45 kilowatts. One array will be funded by the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University’s Green Fund, and the university will pay the fund back for the electricity generated by the system.
Southern Oregon U Ignites a 'World Peace Flame'
Hosted by the World Peace Flame Foundation, the World Peace Flame represents a symbol of those dedicated to achieving peace through education and practical support of grassroots peace initiatives. It aims to inspire people to create peace at every level. There is only one other World Peace Flame in the U.S. It is in the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, the assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.