UC Berkeley Receives Undeveloped Land Donation
The University of California, Berkeley recently received an anonymous donation of the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, a 3,260-acre property east of San Jose. The property is one of California's most diverse ecosystems, is embedded within 180,000 acres of permanently protected wild lands and open space in the Mount Hamilton Range, and is protected by a conservation easement held by the Nature Conservancy. The new reserve will support research to discover why oak trees are failing to thrive or regenerate. Additionally, UC Berkeley plans to design an ecologically sustainable field station on the site which will include dormitories, classrooms, laboratories, and offices with solar photovoltaic modules, passive solar systems, and sustainable water management systems designed by UC Berkeley environmental design and engineering faculty and students.
U Florida Annual Report Features Sustainability
The University of Florida recently published its Annual Report. In addition to the audited financial statements for the University, this year's report incorporates UF's progress towards becoming a more sustainable university.
U Manitoba to Refurbish Historic Buildings
The University of Manitoba recently announced that 13 facilities and departments will be refurbished instead of building a new campus. Project Domino, starting this summer, will restore several historic buildings over a five-year period and plans to build only one new building, the Centre for Music, Art and Design.
Utah State U Donates Land for Organic Farm
Utah State University recently donated a 5-acre plot of its research land to be used for an on-campus organic farm. Students will help to prepare the field, and will also help make decisions on rotation rates and plots. Faculty coordinators of the project hope that the produce will be sold in an on-campus student famers market. The coordinators plan for the farm to become a self-sustaining project that will eventually make enough money to allow for a full-credit intern, research projects, and thesis projects.
Wilfrid Laurier U Switches to Cage-free Eggs
Wilfrid Laurier University (ON) Food Services recently switched to cage-free eggs. These cage-free eggs will be used for the 20 percent of foods that use whole shelled eggs at the University. WLU is hoping to make the change for liquid eggs as well.
Willamette U Housing to be Gender Neutral
Willamette University (OR) recently announced that, starting in the fall of 2008, it will offer gender neutral housing that will allow men and women to room together. The initiative is designed to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students who may not be comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same sex. Participation will be voluntary and students outside of the LGBT community will be permitted to participate. Parents will not be informed when a student chooses to live in gender neutral housing. The pilot program is not intended for romantically involved straight or gay couples; the University retains the right to deny requests from couples.
2 Universities Receive 2008 National Transit Award
The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded 10 U.S. transit systems with the Success in Enhancing Ridership Award. Among the winners were the University of New Hampshire-Wildcat Transit and city of Macomb-Go West Transit, which is a partnership between Western Illinois University and the City of Macomb. The awards recognized transit providers who tried fresh approaches to boost their ridership between the years of 2005 and 2006. The two-year period allowed enough time to implement the new strategies and then measure the results. In addition to netting more passengers, the new techniques also had the potential to be successfully implemented by other transit systems. Wildcat Transit was cited for using better traveler information, nicer bus shelters with solar power lighting, and new biodiesel transit buses, which helped increase ridership by 21 percent. Macomb-Go West Transit was recognized for increasing their ridership by 22 percent by revising their fare structure, advertising, and partnering with Western Illinois University.
British Columbia University Presidents Sign Climate Action Statement
University presidents from across British Columbia have signed a Climate Change Statement of Action committing their institutions to a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The statement of action commits each university to initiate a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases by creating a planning body that includes students, staff, researchers, administrators and other partners. Within one year, each institution will have a complete inventory of greenhouse gas emissions on campus and within two years, targets will be set and strategies will be put in place to achieve the targets. All action plans, inventories, and progress reports will be made publicly available. BC’s university presidents will be inviting other post secondary institutions across British Columbia and Canada to join them in signing the Statement of Action.
Cabrini College Offers Fair Trade Bananas
Cabrini College (PA) recently began offering fair trade bananas. The initiative started as an idea from the Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors on campus. A fair trade banana-split party was held to celebrate the success of the initiative.
Carleton College Announces New Access Scholarship Program
Carleton College (MN) recently announced its new Access Scholarship program aimed at reducing or eliminating student loans for students from a family with an annual income of $75,000 or less, starting with the 2008-09 school year. The plan calls for a $4,000 scholarship for students from families making less than $40,000 annually, a $3,000 scholarship for students from families with annual incomes of $40,001-$60,000, and a $2,000 scholarship for students from families with yearly incomes of $60,001-$75,000.
Central Carolina CC Hires Green Building Program Coordinator
Central Carolina Community College (SC) recently hired Laura Lauffer as the College's first Green Building Program Coordinator. Lauffer has been brought on board to recruit highly qualified instructors, expand course offerings and apprenticeships for those who want careers in green construction and renewable energy, promote job creation, and increase the number of seminars on green building offered for consumers and homeowners.
Clinton Global Initiative U Holds Inaugural Meeting
The Clinton Global Initiative University, which works as part of the Clinton Global Initiative to mobilize college students and universities to address issues with practical and innovative solutions, recently held its first meeting at Tulane University (LA). Nearly 700 college students gathered on the campus of Tulane University, traveling from more than 250 colleges and universities and representing almost each state and every continent except Antarctica. While there, 600 students cleaned and prepared more than 10 blocks of the Lower 9th Ward that will welcome the first returning residents to the New Orleans area. The cleaning was part of Brad Pitt's Make it Right Project, which will construct 150 sustainable and affordable homes in the Lower 9th Ward.
Columbia U Expands Financial Aid
Columbia University (NY) recently announced that students from families with incomes below $60,000 attending Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science will no longer be expected to borrow or contribute any of their income or assets to tuition, room, board and other fees beginning in fall 2008. At the same time, Columbia will eliminate loans for all new and continuing students in the College and SEAS who are eligible for financial aid, regardless of family income, and replace them with University grants. Additionally, all aid recipients will be invited to apply for exemptions from summer and academic-year work expectations when they engage in community service or accept unpaid research or internship commitments.
Culinary Institute of America Eliminates Paper Cups
The Culinary Institute of America (NY) has removed paper cups and lids in all of its student and staff dining facilities. The college had been using between 15,000 and 18,000 disposable cups a week in its student dining facilities alone. The CIA is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to use travel mugs or to-go bottles on campus.
Drew U to Offer Environmental Studies and Sustainability Major
Drew University (NJ) recently received a $950,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an innovative academic major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. The grant money will support two additional faculty members, new interdisciplinary courses, and a program of student internships and research experiences. Drew faculty members are working now to design the new major, which will incorporate internship experiences and coursework that is interdisciplinary and project-oriented. If approved by the College of Liberal Arts faculty this spring, it will be made available to students in the fall of 2008.
Eastern Illinois U to Purchase Electric Vehicles
Eastern Illinois University plans to replace about six of its gas-powered minivans with small electric vehicles. These electric vehicles can be recharged within one hour and can travel up to 30-40 miles at a time. The University has already purchased one six-seat electric vehicle for the campus.
Funding Cut for U New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program
Last year, the University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies program received a $207,000 grant from the state Legislature; this year, the University offered Sustainability Studies $15,000, an amount that will not be enough to sustain the program. The College of Arts and Sciences is currently looking for alternative funding. Approximately 80 students have enrolled in Sustainability Studies at UNM.
Indiana U Holds Web-enabled Energy & Water Conservation Competition
Indiana University recently began its first ever "IU Energy Challenge," a dormitory energy and water conservation competition. The four-week competition will encourage students living in 10 IU Bloomington dormitories to compete to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of their dorm's average per capita electricity and water consumption over the past three years. The competition features a website where students can view their current energy and water usage and standings. The dormit
Lehigh U Enhances Financial Aid
Lehigh University (PA) recently announced its new plan to increase financial aid. As long as students are eligible for financial aid, the University plans to eliminate loans for students whose family’s calculated annual income is less than $50,000 and plans to limit loans to a maximum of $3,000 per year for students whose family’s calculated annual income is between $50,000 and $75,000. Additionally, work-study awards for students who are included in the loan elimination and reduction initiatives will be increased by 25 percent to $2,200 per year, thus offsetting the need for loans. Additional funds are also being made available to enroll a larger number of eligible, international students with demonstrated financial need.
Medical U of South Carolina Installs Geothermal System
The Medical University of South Carolina recently installed a geothermal system into the Anderson House, a campus administration building that houses the South Carolina College of Pharmacy's administration. The building is the first on campus to utilize a closed loop geothermal heat pump.
MIT Announces New Financial Aid Program
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its financial aid program for the 2008-2009 academic year. Under the new plan, families earning less than $75,000 per year will have all tuition covered and will not be expected to take out loans to cover expenses beyond tuition. MIT will also no longer consider home equity for families with total annual income below $100,000 and typical assets. In addition to the financial aid plan, the Institute will also reduce the work-study expectation for all financial aid recipients by 10 percent.
Southwestern College, Winfield Creates Student Green Team
Southwestern College, Winfield (KS) is recruiting students for the Green Team, a four-year environmental program that will start in the fall of 2008. The eight or nine students selected will be eligible for up to $3,200 worth of scholarship funds. The Green Team's main responsibility will be to come up with innovative ideas on how to bring renewable energies to campus and to help reduce the campus carbon footprint. Green Team members will be permitted to major in any academic department, but will be required to take environmental and leadership courses. They will also work on projects that take place on campus and in the city of Winfield.
Students from Maryland Universities Design Mobile Teaching Labs
The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently donated four dirty emissions transit buses to Biodiesel University, a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Maryland dedicated to providing hands-on renewable energy experiences and to inspiring students to pursue careers in science and technology. The four buses will be recycled into mobile teaching laboratories and will travel to schools, colleges, and public events in the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. Students from regional colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art, have been designing the mobile labs and their contents since late 2006 as part of a multi-institutional collaboration. The labs will educate visitors on the sustainability issues of food versus fuel, the carbon cycle, unintended economic consequences, pollution, and land and water use. Each lab will include a hands-on feedstock section, where visitors learn about dozens of renewable sources for biodiesel and compare the benefits and tradeoffs of each one.
Students Launch Cross-Canada Campus Sustainability Tour
Students across Canada recently joined together to launch the Generations Campaign and cross-Canada tour to send a message to federal policy makers that greater action is needed to combat climate change. The Canadian Federation of Students and the David Suzuki Foundation have teamed up to bring events to universities and colleges across the country. The Generations Campaign will bring keynote speakers to over 30 Canadian campuses this fall to discuss the importance of action in the fight against climate change. The tour will highlight ways in which students across the country are making a difference in their homes, campuses and local communities, and pressure the federal government to take action against climate change.
Tulane U Dining Services Goes Trayless
Tulane University (LA) Dining Services recently removed trays from its dining facilities on campus. The initiative is an effort to reduce food waste, to conserve water that would be used to wash the trays, and to conserve energy that would normally be used to prepare more food. Additionally, the campus dining facilities now offer fresh Louisiana produce and seafood, recycled-content paper napkins, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.
U Kansas Architecture Students Design and Build Green Building
A University of Kansas architecture class recently designed and built a green building and transported it to Greensburg, Kansas, a community in western Kansas that was destroyed by a tornado last spring. The graduate students from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning built the structure as seven prefabricated modules that were hauled by truck to the Greensburg building site. The students will assemble the modules themselves, and hope to complete the structure by early May. When the building is complete, it will feature solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heating, thermal massing and other green systems. KU expects the building to achieve LEED certification.
USA Today Covers Increasing Student Awareness of Global Warming
USA Today recently published an article on the increasing number of students who are concerned about the effects of global warming. More and more students are participating in national events, such as Focus the Nation and Powershift, and creating their own campus initiatives aimed at reducing global warming and increasing knowledge about the problem.
Vassar College Expands Financial Aid Program
Vassar College (NY) recently announced that it will eliminate loans from the financial aid packages of students with calculated family incomes of up to $60,000. The college will replace those loans with additional Vassar scholarship grants. The policy will take place in the fall of 2008. The College will also return to a need-blind admissions policy, with admissions decisions being made without regard to the student's ability to pay.
Wright State U Hires Director of Sustainability
Wright State University (OH) recently hired Huntting W. Brown as the first Director of Sustainability. Brown's responsibilities include exploring collaborations with other organizations throughout the Miami Valley and, with faculty, staff, and student involvement, explore potential new initiatives. With degrees in anthropology-sociology, zoology and law, Brown has focused his life’s work on environmental issues. Following jobs with the State of Florida’s Department of Natural Resources and with utility companies operating in the mid-west, Brown brought his diverse background to Wright State’s Center for Groundwater Management in 1989.
Auburn U Partners with City to Produce Biodiesel
Auburn University (AL) recently partnered with the city of Gadsden and Gadsden Waterworks and Sewer Board to convert cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. Auburn University plans to document the cost and the conversion process in order to provide other cities with the information.
Business Officer Magazine Covers President's Climate Commitment
The National Association of College and University Business Officers' February Business Officer Magazine features an article urging college and university presidents to sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. The article includes ideas on how to fund the commitment, reduce the campus carbon footprint, and convince students, faculty, and staff to participate.
Dalhousie U Implements Trayless Policy
Dalhousie University (NS) recently implemented a policy that eliminates trays from all four of its campus dining halls. The initiative serves to reduce food waste and water and detergent consumption during the cleaning process.
Duke Bans Future Investments With Sudan-Linked Companies
The Duke University (NC) Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution that prohibits Duke from making future direct investment in companies engaged in business with the government of Sudan. The resolution, in protest against that government’s human rights violations in the war-torn region of Darfur, covers the $8.2 billion in endowment and assets of Duke University that is invested by the Duke Management Corporation. The policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the United States government lifts sanctions against Sudan.
Emory U Opens Organic Coffee Cart
Emory University (GA) recently opened the Green Bean Coffee Cart outside of the University Center. The cart provides Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea during morning hours throughout the week. Customers who bring their own cup receive a $.20 discount. The cart hopes to offer pastries and cookies within the next few weeks.
Green Chemistry Bill Introduced into Congress
5 U.S. Senators recently introduced the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008 into Congress. The bi-partisan legislation would leverage federal green chemistry initiatives in an effort to advance research and development at universities and at federal agencies. The Act would create an inter-agency working group lead by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, and in coordination with the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to advance green chemistry research. The bill also provides grant funding for private sector and academic projects for environmentally friendly chemicals.
Green Mountain College Announces Sustainability Website
Green Mountain College (VT) recently published a sustainability website that is linked to the GMC homepage. The website features the college's environmentally focused curriculum, a list of environmental leaders, and the campus's green mission, projects and partnerships, campus initiatives, and awards.
Maharishi U Dining Hall Goes 100% Vegetarian, 90% Organic
Maharishi University of Management's (IA) new student center dining hall is serving 100 percent vegetarian and 90 – 95 percent organic food. Campus farms provide the school with fruits and vegetables during the summer, and campus greenhouses offer tomatoes and greens during the winter. The school has spent the past eight or nine years replacing foods grown with herbicides and pesticides with organic food. Most of the remaining food comes from local producers.
Oregon State U Increases Financial Transparency
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on Oregon State University's new online budget reporting system. This new system allows students, faculty, and staff connected with the University to view budgeted allowances, actual expenditures, and available balances for income, salaries and wages, other payroll expenses, and other expenses for each department. Additionally, campus members can view the invoices of each completed purchase. The name of the employee associated with the transaction is not shown in the database. The data are updated each night.
St. Lawrence U Science Building Receives LEED Gold
St. Lawrence University's (NY) Johnson Hall of Science was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The building features passive/active solar design, energy and water conserving technologies, efficient lighting strategies, on-site recoverable energy systems, and a planning process that involved students and faculty in collaboration. In addition, the building was designed for "sustainable transition," anticipating the incorporation of 100 percent renewable technology (biofuel and photovoltaic) use in the
U Arkansas Implements Football and Basketball Recycling Program
The University of Arkansas recently began Recycling with the Razorbacks, a program that places green recycling boxes at all home football and basketball games. During the football season, clean-up crews collected more than 36.5 tons of recyclables and reduced the amount of trash going to the landfill to only 61.5 tons.
U Chicago Hires Sustainability Project Manager
The University of Chicago (IL) Sustainability Council has hired Eric Heineman to fill the newly created project manager position for the Council. Responsibilities of the position will include increasing communication among campus organizations and units to streamline collaboration on sustainability projects. The Council and University administrators hope to eventually make Heineman’s six-month position a permanent addition to sustainability efforts on campus.
U Chicago Holds Energy Reduction Competition
University of Chicago (IL) recently completed a Battle of the Bulbs Competition. Green Campus Initiatives, a student environmental awareness organization, created the February competition to encourage student housing residents to reduce their energy consumption. Breckinridge Residence Hall, the winner of the month-long competition, reduced their overall energy consumption by 24 percent. The entire residence hall system reduced their energy consumption by an average of 2.8 percent per person.
U Maryland Receives Grant for Endowed Sustainability Professor
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently received a $750,000 challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. This gift will establish the Center’s first endowed chair, a professorship in Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, which will research ecosystem restoration in the face of growth and climate change.
U Maryland to Establish Green Real Estate Development Institute
The University of Maryland's real estate development program, which has a broad-based approach to sustainability, has received a $3 million gift that will help establish the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in UM's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The Institute will be the academic home for the school's two year-old Masters in Real Estate Development, giving the program a solid financial foundation, creating a new track with an even greater focus on sustainable development, expanding its leadership training, and extending the program's public outreach and international presence.
U New Hampshire Receives Top Lean and Green Award
The University of New Hampshire has received New Hampshire Magazine's Lean and Green Overall Judges Award, which recognizes the school's extensive sustainable practices. The campus's cogeneration plant and initiatives such as the reuse of purified landfill gas to power the Durham campus and transitioning its public transit system to alternative fuels help to win the award.
Utah State University Unveils Covered Bike Parking
Utah State University recently unveiled a new covered bike parking structure on campus. The ceremony commemorated the Utah State and Aggie Blue Bikes, a 90 bicycle program that provides bike rentals for up to one full semester. The structure, although finished in November, has been out of use until recently because of the weather.
York U Pledges to Establish No-Sweatshop Policy After Sit-in
The York University (ON) president recently pledged to create a no-sweatshop purchasing policy for university apparel by April after protesters participated in a 2 day sit-in outside of the president's office. The sit-in was inspired by the 100th anniversary of International Women's day, when 15,000 immigrant women garment workers protested to receive shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.
3 Michigan Universities to Fund Energy Projects
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, the state's three largest research universities, will invest $900,000 to encourage their faculty to work collaboratively on novel renewable energy research that could help shape energy policy. The energy initiative is an attempt to usher inventions from labs to the marketplace and attract fresh jobs to the state. Faculty from the three universities will have until April 14, 2008 to submit their proposals for research in materials, nanomaterials, clean energy sources, transmission and storage that is environmentally safe, cost-effective, and secure, and energy policy. Funding to the winning proposal or proposals should begin in June.
Brown U Enhances Financial Aid
Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.
Cape Cod CC Awarded Wind Turbine Grant
Cape Cod Community College (MA) has received a $2.4 million grant to install a 600 kW wind turbine. The grant will also allow CCCC to pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour for turbine-generated electricity that will be paid to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the grant provider. The savings CCCC sees will be shared with MTC’s Low Income Energy Assistance Network. The LEAN program works with other energy programs and provides benefits to low-income populations in the area including on-site housing improvements for energy efficiency.