Three Universities Form Racial Justice Consortium
As the Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University and Queens University of Charlotte will collaborate to understand their history of race and racism, and develop student, university and community leaders who work across the region toward truth, racial healing and equity. The effort is supported by the consortium’s selection as a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).
U Rochester Joins 'Climate Action 100+' Coalition
The university recently joined the Climate Action 100+, a coalition of investment firms, pension funds, and institutional investors influencing the corporations that are the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters to agree to lowering emissions, being transparent about their operations, and taking necessary action on climate change. Additionally, the university's investment committee approved two recommendations: no direct investments in thermal coal production or in the production of oil from tar sands.
Balliol College Reduces Fossil Fuel Investments
(U.K.) The college announced a number of steps it will soon take in order to reduce the fossil fuel exposure of its endowment, from approximately 2.4 percent of its total endowment to a target of less than 1 percent. The college is also working with students on a climate change action plan.
George Soros Launches Global Network to Transform Higher Education
George Soros, the billionaire financier and philanthropist, recently announced that he is creating a new university network to better prepare students for current and future global challenges. The Open Society University Network (OSUN) will be a global network that integrates learning and the advancement of knowledge across geographic and demographic boundaries, promotes civic engagement on behalf of open societies, and expands access of underserved communities to higher education. Soros is endowing the network with $1 billion.
Inaugural 'Positive Impact Rating' Ranks Business Schools
The Positive Impact Rating for business schools uses surveys of students to assess and rate business schools on their contributions to solving societal challenges. Out of the 51 business schools participating in the rating, nine were featured as transforming schools, and another 21 were recognized as progressing schools.
Syracuse U Announces New Initiatives on Racial Equity
The university recently announced several new actions to advance diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. The new actions include allocating space for multicultural students, working with Native American students to determine how to recognize the university's presence on ancestral Onondaga lands, conducting a security assessment of Hillel, launching a fund aimed at competitive recruitment of faculty from underrepresented minority groups, and allocating $5.6 million for diversity and inclusion initiatives, with 16 new staff members added to work on new and improved diversity programming.
Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge Announces 2019-20 Football Season Winners
The University of Colorado Boulder was recently announced as the overall winner of the 2019-20 Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge held during the football season. Earning subcategory wins across the challenge were the University of California, Berkeley (most-improved), Oregon State University (best student-athlete engagement) and Stanford University (best fan engagement). The competition, which happens for both the football and basketball season, encourages campuses to move towards zero waste and be creative on developing best practices, whether it be directly through reuse, recycling, and composting or by working with partners to drive impactful changes.
Colorado College Achieves Carbon Neutrality
The college recently achieved carbon neutrality through a variety of initiatives that include efficiency upgrades, building renovations, campus engagement initiatives, on-site renewable energy, local renewable energy purchases, and carbon offsets.
U Tennessee Knoxville Commits to 2030 Waste Goal
The university recently committed to diverting half of its waste from landfills by 2030 as part of a larger goal of becoming a zero waste institution. The diversion rate in 2018 was 33 percent.
Brandeis U Includes Caste in Non-Discrimination Policy
Discrimination based on caste, a system of inherited social class, is now expressly prohibited at the university, just as discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law is prohibited.
Lumina Foundation Grants American Indian College Fund $650K
The recently announced grant will be used to examine the barriers affecting Native American students' higher education success. Under the grant, the American Indian College Fund will establish a two-part and 30-month project aimed at analyzing completion rates under factors such as the rising cost of college and high rates of poverty among American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Additionally, the research will focus on the sustainability of tribal colleges and universities, both academically and financially.
Pennsylvania State U Adopts Open Access Policy
Under the new policy, university researchers automatically grant Penn State a non-exclusive license to make their work available through the university’s open access institutional repository, which is designed to help increase the global visibility and impact of Penn State research and scholarship. The new open access policy took effect on Jan. 1 and applies to all university faculty and staff, university appointees, graduate and post-doctoral research assistants or fellows, and visiting scholars.
Arizona State U Library Renovation Includes Sustainability
While the LEED certification is still under review, the sustainability practices included the reuse of materials, approximately 80 percent of which were diverted from the landfill, a highly reflective rooftop photovoltaic solar power system, and low-flow fixtures coupled with high-efficiency irrigation systems.
U Buffalo Receives $3.2M for Indigenous Studies Department
The university's College of Arts and Sciences recently received a $3.174 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of a new department of Indigenous Studies. To be launched over the next four years, the proposed department will focus on humanities-centered research, educational programs and community outreach aimed at addressing key issues central to indigenous life in the region, as identified by faculty, students, alumni and community stakeholders from the surrounding Haudenosaunee territories.
Washtenaw CC Earns Bee Campus USA Designation
The community college now boasts the pollinator-friendly certification after meeting the Bee Campus USA requirements, which include providing pollinator-friendly landscaping, eliminating toxic fertilization and eradication techniques, and providing educational events about pollinators.
California State U Channel Islands Receives Grant for EV Charging Ports
The university recently received a grant from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District to install an additional six electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on campus, bringing the university's total to 15 charging ports. The new charging stations will be the first networked stations on campus, enabling the university to gather data on charging patterns and energy usage.
U Oregon Introduces Sustainability Open Houses
The new Sustainability Open House meetings include brief presentations from pre-selected staff, faculty members and student groups, as well as time for casual networking to build collaborations between faculty and staff units. The quarterly meetings are hosted in partnership by the Environmental Studies Program, the Student Sustainability Center and the Office of Sustainability.
Oregon State U Bans All Tobacco Products
The university recently enacted an expanded policy that prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco products on all university campuses and university-controlled properties.
Columbia U Staff Complete Energy Efficiency Training
Forty-five Columbia residential operations and maintenance staff completed the 30-hour New York City Building Operator Training program to help improve energy efficiency of residential buildings and reduce operating costs. The curriculum provides participants with energy and resource conservation techniques related to a building’s heating, electrical and water systems.
Cornell U Joins Supply Chain Greening Group
The university's Center for Sustainability announced its new partnership with The Sustainability Consortium. With more than 100 corporate, academic and nongovernmental organization members, the consortium explores paths to address environmental, social and economic imperatives in business supply chains. Specifically, the partnership seeks to connect faculty, students and staff with projects that could translate Cornell research into business tools that spur consumer product sustainability, to initiate new projects that influence corporate and policy-level decision-making, and to advance conservation finance to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices and investment.
Marymount Manhattan College Purchases 100% Renewable Energy
The college now purchases all of its power from renewable sources. Additionally, after consulting with an energy and water management company, the college has installed a building management system for heating, cooling and electricity, and installed energy-efficient windows in its Carson Hall.
Indiana State U Begins Sustainability Partnership With City
The university's Office of Sustainability and the municipality in which it resides, Sullivan, have launched a partnership to develop collaborative community-based sustainability projects and to find proactive ways to incorporate ecological operations at the city level. The projects will be completed by Sustainable Cities faculty and ISU students.
Two Universities Join Consortium to Study Slavery
The University of Georgia and the University of Nottingham (U.K.) recently joined the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium. Universities Studying Slavery (USS) is dedicated to organizing multi-institutional collaboration to facilitate mutual support in the pursuit of common goals around the core theme of universities studying slavery.
Vanderbilt U Announces Zero Waste By 2030 Goal
The university recently announced its commitment to achieving a 90 percent diversion rate from the landfill and reducing the amount of waste generated on campus by 30 percent, both by 2030. Additionally, the institution committed to addressing emissions related to waste disposal and recycling.
Ohio U Building Scores LEED Gold Certification
Ellis Hall, a 115-year-old building, was recently renovated and now features LED lighting, low-flow toilets and sinks, new insulation, new windows, and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. Exterior landscaping includes drought-tolerant trees and shrubs.
Haverford College Launches Student Loan Debt Relief Program
The Student Loan Debt Relief Program is designed to assist graduates for whom $4,000 to $12,000 in student debt would be a burden, particularly those pursuing careers of high societal value and low remuneration. The Class of 2019 was the first that was eligible to apply for its debt relief. Twelve awards were given, ranging from $900 to $1500 per applicant.
Windward CC Gets $30K Grant to Plant Trees
Thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Arbor Day Foundation, the community college will be able to plant 31 new trees: two different species of banyans, and a variety of native and Polynesian trees.
Rutgers U Engineering Hall Receives LEED Gold
The 106,000-square-foot, four-story facility features solar orientation, mechanical systems with ventilation controlled by occupancy and carbon dioxide sensors, and energy-efficient LED lighting with automatic lighting controls that use daylight photo and occupancy sensors.
CUNY Announces $1M Food Insecurity Pilot Program
Through this new program, eligible students can receive $400 vouchers to use for any food item in campus cafeterias. To qualify, students must be enrolled at a CUNY community college for at least nine credits, live in the five boroughs, be working towards their first college degree, show significant financial need, and not currently receiving SNAP benefits.
Clarkson U Receives Grant for Food Waste Education
The university has recently received a $35,000 grant as a part of their E² Energy to Educate grant program. The funding will allow Clarkson to expand its current partnership with Canton Central School and engage more than 1,000 K-12 students in a district-wide food waste collection system and education program.
U Utah Hires Chief Sustainability Officer
Kerry Case recently accepted the university's offer to serve as its chief sustainability officer. Case is currently assistant provost for Integrative Learning at Westminster College and has led its sustainability initiatives for 13 years. As chief sustainability officer, Case is tasked with the development of a sustainability action plan, updating the 2010 Climate Action Plan and looking for external funding opportunities that could support sustainability efforts.
National Taiwan U Divests From Polluters
(Taiwan) The university recently announced that it is divesting from six companies, accounting for 22 percent of the university’s investments. It has already divested from four of them and plans to divest from the remaining two by the end of 2020.
AASHE Publishes 2019 Annual Report
AASHE recently released its annual report detailing accomplishments and progress throughout 2019 in STARS, education and professional development, AASHE Sustainability Awards, the annual conference and expo, and more.
U Iowa Enters Public-Private Energy Partnership
The University of Iowa recently received approval from the board of regents to enter into a 50-year, nearly $1 billion partnership with Engie North America and Meridiam. Under the agreement, the university will maintain ownership of the UI utility system and Engie will perform all operations with respect to steam, cooling, water and electricity. Engie and Meridiam will work with the university to ensure that the university meets its goal of being coal-free by Jan. 1, 2025, if not sooner; that sources of renewable fuels and incorporating sustainable, lower-cost fuel options into the existing utility systems will be explored; and that experiential learning and research opportunities are available to students, faculty and staff.
Santa Clara U Wins Reusable Water Bottle Competition
A competition hosted by Hyundai challenged the campus communities of Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University and Santa Clara University to opt for reusable instead of plastic water bottles. Santa Clara University prevailed with 60,022 water bottle refills. Hyundai presented a $100,000 grant to Santa Clara University’s Office of Sustainability.
Stockton U Installs Window Art to Reduce Bird Strikes
To reduce the number of bird strikes on one of the university's buildings at its Galloway campus, a vinyl mural was recently installed featuring the message, "Art should be striking. Not birds," along with an explanation of how the art saves birds by eliminating reflections.
U British Columbia Board Agrees to Fossil Fuel Divestment
After recently declaring a Climate Emergency, the university's board of governors agreed to divest the main endowment pool ($1.71B) from fossil fuels and directed the administration to conduct analysis necessary to support such action. Also, the board agreed to financial and legal reviews of transferring $380 million of endowed university funds to the university’s sustainable future pool, a fossil-free and low carbon fund established in 2017.
McGill U Building Receives LEED Gold for Existing Buildings
The McGill University Health Center was recently awarded LEED Gold for Existing Buildings after receiving LEED Gold for New Construction in 2016 by the Canada Green Building Council. The center utilizes energy-efficient lighting and water technology, and its site contains 79 charging stations for electric vehicles, a bicycle path linked to the city of Montreal’s network and more than 400 parking spaces for cyclists as well as showers for cyclists.
U Georgia SGA Opens Professional Clothing Shop
After two years of student-led planning, the Student Government Association Professional Clothing Closet recently opened. The Professional Clothing Closet provides professional attire to students at no cost and on short notice. Students may keep the clothing for future use.
U Wollongong Building Certified as Living Building
(Australia) The university's Sustainable Buildings Research Center recently achieved full marks in all seven performance areas under the Living Building Challenge and is now designated as Living Certified. The research center features 468 solar panels to support net zero energy, an onsite rainwater system to enable net zero water performance, and use of environmentally safe and reused building materials.
Southwestern U Becomes Bee Campus Certified
Now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, the university supports pollinators by caring for pollinator-friendly, drought-resistant plants in the campus community garden, protecting native habitat, minimizing the use of dangerous pesticides and disseminating information to the campus and external communities.