Santa Monica College Establishes George Floyd Scholarship
The college announced on June 19 a new endowment in honor of George Floyd, called the George Perry Floyd, Jr. Scholarship for Racial and Social Justice. The scholarship was started with a $20,000 gift to the Santa Monica College Foundation from anonymous donors. The scholarship will offer a $2,500 award over two years to black students to help offset the cost of tuition, books and living expenses while attending the college.
Investor Racial Equity Pledge
The 2020 Belonging Pledge is a commitment that recognizes that racial equity belongs throughout the investment process, and ultimately, in how decisions are made about capital deployment.
Climate Center Consultant RFP
The Department of Health Sciences at California State University East Bay is seeking a consultant to support the development of its application for the Center on Climate Change, Health and Sustainable Futures. The consultant will provide the dedicated support to the faculty and will support an inter-department collaborative process to develop the strategic plan and Academic Senate application. Bids are due July 13.
15 Canadian HEIs Sign Investment Charter
A group of 15 Canadian higher education institutions in mid-June signed onto a charter pledging each school to follow responsible investment practices. The charter calls on all signatories to adopt a responsible investment framework to guide investment decision-making, regularly measure the carbon intensity of investment portfolios, evaluate their progress regularly, and share assessments publicly.
Northern Illinois U Athletic Dept Enacts Social Justice Ed Plan
Geared toward student-athletes, coaches and staff, the social justice education plan seeks to create educational opportunities, support dialogue and encourage voting. The plan has already brought together African American student-athletes, a focus group of student-athlete leaders and an all-staff virtual town hall of NIU Athletics coaches and staff on the topics of social justice and race relations. Future sessions include a virtual meeting of all student-athletes led by NIU professors and individual team counseling sessions on the topic of race relations.
Winona State U Installs Electric Charging Stations
The university recently installed two new electric car charging stations. The stations are ready for use and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. The charging stations are free to use for WSU students. Faculty and staff receive a reduced fee of $0.10 per kilowatt-hour. Public users are charged a one-dollar flat rate connection fee as well as $0.10 per kilowatt-hour.
12 HEIs Recognized Among Canada's Greenest Employers
Now in its 13th year, Canada's Greenest Employers is an editorial competition organized by the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. Employers were evaluated in terms of: the unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed; the extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization's environmental footprint; the degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer's public identity.
Loyola U Chicago Adds Environmental Communication Minor
The minor will be available to Loyola students in fall 2020 and will comprise a variety of courses offered by the Institute for Environmental Sustainability and the School of Communication. The 18-credit-hour minor will provide students with a background in environmental science and policy, and training in how to communicate environmental issues.
Healthcare Goes Green Web Series
The four-part discussion-based Healthcare Goes Green web series explores the connection between healthcare, sustainability and equity. Participants will learn from practitioners that have successfully integrated sustainability into their own job responsibilities and into their professional organizations. The series will provide contextual knowledge about how climate change impacts health, especially within vulnerable communities, and will look at how energy conservation and green infrastructure contributes to environmentally-friendly healthcare.
'Student Freedom Initiative' Addresses Loan Burden
Robert F. Smith—the billionaire who pledged during a commencement speech last year to pay off the student debt of the Morehouse College class of 2019—recently announced the Student Freedom Initiative to help ease the burden of student loans at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Student Freedom Initiative will launch in fall 2021 at up to 11 HBCUs, offering juniors and seniors who are science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors a flexible, lower-risk alternative to high-interest private student loans.
U Pittsburgh Becomes Bee Campus USA Certified
Earning the certification through the nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the university has committed to educating the community on pollinator conservation and to supporting pollinators by establishing native-plant habitats, providing nesting sites and reducing pesticide use. Efforts already underway include the student-led Bee Friendly Pitt project that placed seven bee houses around campus to shelter solitary bees; the existence of four student-designed pollinator gardens; and the university’s practice of prioritizing native varieties of perennials, shrubs and trees in campus plantings.
NCAA Expands Confederate Flag Policy
The NCAA Board of Governors has expanded the association’s Confederate flag policy to prevent any NCAA championship events from being played in states where the symbol has a prominent presence. Mississippi is the only state currently affected by the association’s policy.
Morehouse & Spelman Colleges & UNCF Receive $120M
Philanthropists Patty Quillin and her husband, Reed Hastings, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix, are donating $120 million to Morehouse College, Spelman College and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Each will receive $40 million. The money will be used to fund scholarships so that students graduate with less debt and more opportunity.
U California Signs Open Access Agreement
The university recently announced an open access publishing deal with Springer Nature in an effort to get research into the hands of scholars and the public helping solve the world’s most pressing problems. Under the four-year agreement, all UC research published in more than 2,700 of Springer Nature’s journals will be open access. In addition, the deal commits Springer Nature and UC to launching an open science pilot project in 2021.
Harvard U Graduate Students Reach Union Agreement
Bargaining teams for the university and its graduate student union reached a tentative one-year contract recently, which they will unanimously recommend to union members for ratification. If ratified, the contract would be the first in university history to provide more than 4,000 student workers at Harvard with workplace protections. Among other things, the new contract includes pay increases for graduate student workers, childcare subsidies, new procedures to address discrimination and harassment, and the provision of personal protective equipment.
U Nevada Reno Announces Actions to Address Racism
In an effort to respond to the anger and frustration expressed by its Black students, faculty and staff, the university recently announced measures aimed at supporting a more inclusive, safe and equitable campus. They are: review its African Diaspora Program, recognize prominent Black social justice pioneers on campus, explore test score alternatives, establish a living learning community focused on Black culture, and expand cultural competency education across campus.
Build, Unlearn, Decolonize Cooperative Education
CoFED is accepting applications for the Build, Unlearn, Decolonize (BUD) learning series, which is a five-week virtual education intensive designed for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander youth who are working in cooperatives and collectives to grow community health and wealth through food and land. The deadline to apply is July 7.
Assessing the Status and Needs of Evaluation in Environmental Education
Researchers at Virginia Tech and Clemson University, in partnership with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA), are conducting a research study to better understand the status of program evaluation in environmental education and where opportunities might exist to develop helpful resources, training and other support. The survey is intended broadly for people who teach or manage environmental education programs.
Connecticut College Adopts GHG Emissions Reduction Target
The college recently adopted a new goal to achieve a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. To reach the new goal, the college will undertake a multi-phased process beginning with a Utility Master Plan that will lay out a long-term strategy for transforming energy production and use on campus. This will be followed by a Climate Action Plan, laying out specific projects and a timeline to meet or exceed the goal. Both plans are to be executed in the coming year.
Texas A&M Regents Create $100M Diversity Scholarship Fund
The university system's board of regents recently announced a $100 million scholarship fund to address diversity issues as well as concerns of students who are first-generation and/or from low-income families in the wake of economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19. The program provides $10 million annually over 10 years for scholarships to students from particularly low income, first-generation and geographically underrepresented regions of the state.
U Colorado Boulder Adopts Anti-Racism Actions
Immediate actions that were announced to transform the campus experience for Black students, faculty and staff, and for all students, faculty and staff of color and other marginalized individuals and groups include updating and enhancing faculty and staff hiring practices to achieve greater representation of persons of color; implementing mandatory bystander training for all campus members; examining its procurement practices with Colorado Correctional Industries, a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections; review campus police policies and procedures; and charge faculty with development of a first-year course in anti-racism.
Call for Applications: Bicycle Friendly University
The Bicycle Friendly University program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bikeable campus for students, staff and visitors. The program evaluates universities’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement, and evaluation/planning. The deadline to apply is Oct. 20.
Civic Innovation Challenge
The Civic Innovation Challenge is a national research and action competition where teams will compete for awards of up to $1 million on ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable and transferable impact on community-identified priorities. The Civic Innovation Challenge comprises two tracks–communities and mobility, and resilience to natural disasters. Planning grant applications are due on July 1. The Civic Innovation Challenge is launched and managed by the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Call for Papers: Sustainability: The Journal of Record Special Issue on Climate Change
Sustainability: The Journal of Record is seeking contributions for a special issue focusing on climate change through the lens of sustainability science. Empirical and theoretical papers, essays and a series of case reports in line with Sustainable Development Goal #13–take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts–are encouraged.
U Kentucky to Remove Mural With Disturbing Imagery
The university's president in a recent message announced that a mural that has been the subject of years of debate will be removed. The mural depicts scenes from Kentucky's history and includes enslaved black people planting tobacco.