Basic Needs Insecurity in the Higher Education Instructional Workforce
A new report from the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice analyzed the rates of basic needs insecurity among faculty and staff from almost 550 instructional staff from four community colleges and one university. According to the report, 38 percent of respondents surveyed experienced some form of basic needs insecurity in 2019.
AACC Advancing Diversity Award
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) invites applications for its Advancing Diversity award, which recognizes colleges that have contributed significantly and over a sustained period of time to advancing diversity in community college leadership, the community, and within higher education as a whole. The deadline to submit is Dec. 31.
World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day 2020
The World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day, happening online on December 4, aims to accelerate progress toward achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals by focusing on education. Academic staff from any country are encouraged to contribute presentation slides designed in an open educational resources style, prepared in English, German, French, Portuguese or Spanish language related to one of four categories. The presentations will be made accessible and academic staff are invited to hold a lecture based on one of the presentations. The teach-in day is lead by Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and Manchester Metropolitan University (U.K.).
Lehigh U Achieves Real Food Challenge Goal
The university recently announced meeting the Real Food Challenge goal by purchasing 20.3 percent of its food from local, organic, fair trade and humane sources in the 2019-2020 academic year. Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability, Dining Services and Purchasing Services, and Sodexo have collaborated on the challenge for the past seven years.
GRITS 4.0: GRITS Goals
Users of GRITS (Green Revolving Investment Tracking System) are now able to develop detailed climate action plan models or track an existing plan's impacts by assembling their projects into resource reduction scenarios at the institution-wide, campus/site, or building scale. GRITS Goals combines the platform’s business case analysis with customizable project timelines and dynamic charting to map out pathways from business-as-usual to aggressive energy, carbon and other resource reduction targets. GRITS is a platform designed by Sustainable Endowments Institute to help institutions analyze, track and share the energy, financial and carbon-saving impacts of their sustainability projects.
Vanderbilt U Receives 2020 USGBC Leadership Award
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced the university as a 2020 Leadership Award recipient in the outstanding companies, organizations and projects category. The university was among 10 companies, projects and individuals across the nation to earn an award. The annual awards recognize leadership in green building and commitment to advancing healthy, sustainable buildings and communities.
U Virginia Uses HVAC Systems to Cull Spread of COVID
A group of specialists at the university recently began studying how best to use heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus. They are focused on three areas: HVAC enhancements, such as the use of filters and increased ventilation; mitigating airborne transmission based on new research and technologies; and serving as a resource to the campus community about airborne transmission and HVAC mitigation.
U Michigan Expands Anti-Racism Initiative Through Hiring Initiative
The university recently announced that it will hire at least 20 tenure-track faculty, versed in academic work on structural racism and racial inequality, over the next three years as part of its new anti-racism initiative. For this anti-racism initiative, the provost’s office will be partnering with the school’s National Center for Institutional Diversity and the Office of Research.
Howard U Receives $1M for Women & Gender Leadership Center
A $1 million gift aims to elevate women of color into leadership roles across all sectors through the launch of the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership. The center's academic focus will include producing theoretically grounded research and creating a data center on issues of women and gender in the United States and the global Black diaspora.
Ohio State U Tests Waste Diversion Strategies
A new partnership between the university and a local entity will divert waste from the landfill by using the campus as a living laboratory to test waste diversion projects ranging from education and behavioral change to new recycling technologies. The aim of the collaboration is to scale up waste reduction solutions across central Ohio.
Luther College Connects Solar Array
A new solar array that includes a battery storage system will provide 10 percent of the college's current electricity consumption. Luther is leasing the land and will purchase power from the facility over the next 10 years.
Vanderbilt U to Purchase 25 MW of Solar Energy
Through the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Invest program, the university has contracted to be a 25-megawatt co-subscriber to a Tennessee solar farm scheduled for completion in 2023.
U Sheffield Pledges Carbon Neutrality
(U.K.) As part of its recently released five-year sustainability strategy, the University of Sheffield pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions on campus by 2030 and across all activities by 2038. The strategy also includes plans to embed education for sustainable development into all courses.
Maine HEIs Join Renewable Energy Consortium
Bowdoin College, Colby College, the Maine Community College System, Maine Maritime Academy, and the University of Maine have joined with 18 other Maine businesses, schools and towns in signing long-term energy contracts with 33 new renewable projects in the state.
U California Adopts Gender Pronoun & Lived Name Policy
Under the new policy, university students, employees, alumni, retirees, vendors, medical center patients and other affiliates completing university-issued documents may choose from man, woman or nonbinary gender identification options. In addition to gender identification, individuals may also state a lived name, i.e., a personal or preferred professional name, that differs from their legal name. Legal names will be kept confidential and not published on documents not requiring a person’s legal name.
University Air Travel Offset Policy: A Case Study
This case study looks at California State University East Bay's new policy to offset greenhouse gas emissions from university-funded air travel by charging a carbon fee. The monies from the initiative are invested in on-campus projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
21 HEIs to Receive $1M Each for Academic Success of Students of Color
In an effort to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to be successful in today’s workforce, Bank of America announced in mid-November a plan to give $1 million each to 21 higher education institutions including community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions. Each partner institution will develop or enhance existing programs to meet specific skill gaps in their communities, while Bank of America will work alongside major employers to ensure these programs target specific hiring needs and create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.
Six HEIs Launch Racial Equity Leadership Alliance
The presidents of Depauw University, and Macalester, Oberlin, Occidental, Pomona and Skidmore colleges are co-founding the Liberal Arts Colleges and Racial Equity Leadership Alliance to address racial inequities at liberal arts colleges. They have been joined by the presidents of 45 other institutions, and are collaborating with the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Southern California.
U California Santa Barbara Announces Racial Justice Fellowship
In light of recent protests against police violence directed at Black communities and the persistence of systemic racism, the university's Graduate Division and multiple deans have launched an initiative designed to enhance the recruitment of graduate students committed to teaching, research and mentorship around racial justice. The Racial Justice Fellowships will provide recipients $8,000 in summer funding for three years on top of a five-year package of full funding.
Villanova U Receives Gift for Interdisciplinary Initiative on Poverty & Inequality
Spurred by a $1 million gift from Villanova alum, a new interdisciplinary initiative will support programmatic efforts to generate ideas and policy solutions to address the systemic issues of inequality. The initiative will also include an annual symposium focused on identifying the most promising approaches to eradicating poverty and eliminating disparities associated with race, disability and difference.
Request for Proposals: The Way Forward Grants
Bringing Theory to Practice invites proposals for a new round of multi-institutional innovation grants, as part of a larger initiative called The Way Forward. Proposals must involve collaborations with at least two higher education institutions, and respond to current crises–systemic racism, the pandemic, and the economic catastrophe–and the imperative for change in higher education. Grant proposals are due Dec. 7.
2020 AASHE Sustainability Awards Ceremony
On Dec. 3, starting at noon U.S. Eastern time, AASHE will host a live reveal of the 2020 AASHE Sustainability Award winners. From over 450 applications and nominations, 11 winners will be named, including the Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This year’s winners hail from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and Australia.
AASHE Member Discount: Free Subscription to gb&d Bimonthly Magazine
AASHE members are eligible to receive a free subscription ($60 value) to gb&d’s (Green Building & Design) bimonthly magazine. Green Building & Design is a trade magazine that connects and inspires green building professionals by partnering with those at the forefront of sustainable design, development, planning and policy. This offer expires on Dec. 31.
Publication Opportunity for Practitioners & Scholars
For this issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs, the editors seek submissions from community practitioners and scholars exploring collaborative, participatory approaches to strengthening democracy. These submissions may take multiple forms, from articles to descriptive essays and multimedia formats. Submission topics could include, but are not limited to, coalition-building and movement building; student civic education/engagement initiatives; community based participatory research; and deliberative dialogue and action. Deadline to submit is Feb. 1.
Evolution of Proxy Carbon Pricing Implementation at Princeton University: A Case Study
Released by Second Nature, this case study discusses Princeton University's process of implementing a proxy carbon price to evaluate physical infrastructure decisions for both capital planning and energy conservation projects on its campus. It uses the proxy carbon price as a strategy to bias cost study evaluations toward more energy efficient systems in order to advance carbon reduction goals.
U Virginia Launches 'Energy Transition Initiative'
The Energy Transition Initiative is a merger between the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service's Virginia Clean Energy Project and its Virginia Solar Initiative. The new collaboration aims to analyze energy systems to identify roadblocks and reduce barriers to achieving a net-zero carbon electric sector by 2050, and to promote informed, engaged and inclusive decision-making.
U Tasmania Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment
The university announced in mid-October during Global Climate Change Week that it will divest from fossil fuel-exposed investment funds by the end of 2021. The university has committed to applying a negative investment screen to fossil fuels and a positive screen to companies and funds that contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
California Community Colleges Receive $100M for Students Facing Financial Hardships
The California Community Colleges chancellor’s office, in partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, announced a $100 million pledge over 20 years to help eliminate regional educational gaps by providing scholarships to students who are on their way toward completion of a certificate or degree at a California community college or transferring to a university. The pledge also provides emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected financial hardships. The initiative is supported by a donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.
Loyola U Maryland Creates Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice
Loyola University Maryland’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Loyola College of Arts and Sciences are launching the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice to address racial inequities locally and nationally. The institute aims to provide a space for researchers, students, social justice workers and activists to come together to research, discuss, debate and explore answers to critical questions on inequality, injustice and racial inequity in the United States.
American U Announces Wellness Platform for Students
All students at American now have access to a personalized wellness platform, You@American, with self-checks and evaluations to help each student assess their challenges, set their own goals, and support their emotional well-being. The portal provides tools, content and resources specifically for college students.
Georgetown U Signs Renewable Energy PPA
A new 15-year agreement allows the university to buy 100,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually from 11 existing solar plants. Georgetown will purchase the electricity from the solar facilities without the associated renewable energy credits (RECs), and through a second financial transaction, purchase Green-e certified RECs through a broker for an equivalent amount of power for the first five of the 15-year agreement.
U Wisconsin Green Bay to Offer Sustainability Certificate
The new non-credit, online only Sustainability Certificate Program launching in January 2021 aims to educate business professionals to implement sustainable decisions into their everyday roles to make a positive impact on both their organization as well as the world around them.
2021-2022 Newman Civic Fellows Nominations
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership. Through the year-long fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 1.
U Oklahoma Building Earns LEED Gold
Gallogly Hall features energy-efficient HVAC systems, recycled and locally available materials, roof and hardscape materials that mitigate the heat island effect, and a storm water and condensate recovery system for reuse in the building purified water system. The landfill diversion rate of the on-site construction waste was 80 percent.