Southern Illinois U Carbondale Signs Climate Commitment
In mid-February, the university's president signed Second Nature's Climate Commitment. Becoming a signatory means that the university will develop a campus plan that reduces greenhouse gases, create energy efficiencies and/or deploy alternative energy sources or other strategies that reduce its carbon footprint.
Vanderbilt U Campus Dining Earns Allergen-Free Certification
Boasting the designation "Certified Free From", all commercial on-campus kitchens are free from tree nuts and peanuts. In addition, Rand Dining Center’s 2301 platform is also certified free from the top eight allergens–milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. Certified Free From is a certification from Kitchens with Confidence, an external accreditation/certification business.
Columbia U Event Management Offers Food Menu With Reduced GHGs
Columbia Event Management now offers a menu of food items with lower greenhouse gas emissions than the traditional menu. Students from the sustainability management program capstone project found the new, mostly plant-based menu to be 63 percent less carbon-emitting than other menus. Columbia departments have the option to choose the "Sustainable Living" menu for their events at comparable prices to other menu options.
Carnegie Foundation Announces Community Engagement Classification Recipients
119 U.S. colleges and universities received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Of the 119 institutions classified in the 2020 cycle, 44 are receiving the classification for the first time while 75 are now re-classified, after being classified originally in 2010 or 2015. A total of 359 campuses are currently active holders of this designation.
U Miami Launches Urban Sustainability & Resilience Degree
This fall the university will launch the Master of Professional Science in Urban Sustainability and Resilience through its College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Architecture. Students can choose from one of two tracks: urban sustainability or urban resilience.
New Issue: Sustainability: The Journal of Record
The last issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record is a special issue covering the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award winners, including the second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Judy Walton. Additionally, the issue includes research about sustainability competencies among graduates.
U Southern California Offers Free Tuition Based on Family Income
Students from the United States from families with annual incomes of $80,000 or less will be eligible for the full undergraduate tuition waiver starting in the fall. Additionally, owning a home will no longer be considered in the calculation used to determine a student’s financial need.
Brandeis U Launches Plastic Waste Reduction Initiative
The university's Office of Sustainability has partnered with Sodexo to reduce plastic waste from bags, straws and bottled water. Several retail locations are introducing paper bags in lieu of plastic and making straws available by request only. Additionally, water bottle refill stations are being installed near retail locations that are removing bottled water options.
U Pittsburgh Renovation Receives LEED Silver
Clapp Hall, the building that houses the department of biological sciences, features energy-efficient lighting, water-saving plumbing fixtures, a demand-control ventilation system and a lab exhaust energy-recovery system. More than 95 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills, 90 percent of existing building elements were reused, and 36 percent of building materials were regionally manufactured. Clapp Hall also has bike storage and changing rooms for commuters.
U Albany Receives $2M for Carbon Neutrality Planning
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently approved a $2 million grant for the university to research and implement solutions for the statewide 2050 net zero carbon emissions goal.
Bowie State U Opens Nutrition Lounge & Food Pantry
In partnership with Food Lion Feeds' hunger relief initiative, the university opened a new on-campus nutrition lounge that provides a place for students to relax, study and have a place to access and enjoy free, healthy foods.
Pennsylvania State U Launches AI for Social Good Research Center
A new, multi-unit research center launched this spring aims to promote the thoughtful development and application of artificial intelligence (AI) and study its impact on all areas of human endeavor. The Penn State Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence will encourage that all AI research and development activities consider social and ethical implications as well as intended and possible unintended consequences.
Cornell U Building Earns LEED Gold
Cornell’s Mui Ho Fine Arts Library building now has energy-efficient windows, and an insulated roof with a reflective lining that improves the building's thermal performance.
Michigan State U to Install 20 MW Solar Array
The university's board of trustees recently approved a 20-megawatt solar-electric array that will span nearly 145 acres. The project is expected to cost about $2.3 million and will be funded with university utility reserve funds. It is estimated that the array will begin producing power by the end of 2022 and save the university at least $27 million in the next 25 years.
Illinois State U Elevates Diversity & Inclusion
The university's president recently announced the creation of a new position to move diversity initiatives forward on campus, naming Professor Doris Houston as the interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion. Houston currently serves as chair of the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
Imperial College Partners on Climate Change Risk Management Projects
(U.K.) The Center for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School is working with international banking group Standard Chartered to help translate academic science into effective solutions for businesses in order to mitigate financial risks presented by climate change.
Yale U Receives $15M for Living Building Community
The university's Divinity School recently accepted a $15 million contribution in support of the Living Village, a 155-unit community that will consist of buildings that are constructed to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge. All building energy will come from the sun and all water from on-site precipitation. Waste will be processed on-site.
Northland College Finalizes Fossil Fuel Divestment
In 2017, the college's board of trustees voted to divest all investments in the fossil fuel industry within five years, but did so in less than three. The college now no longer has fossil fuel-related investments.
Thirteen Institutions Become 'Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers'
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) selected 13 institutions as Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers. Organized around the five pillars of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation framework by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation—narrative change, separation, law, economy, and racial healing and relationship building—the centers seek to prepare the next generation of leaders to confront racism and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value.
New Report: #RealCollege 2020: Five Years of Evidence on Basic Needs Insecurity
The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice released a new report on the basic needs insecurity crisis that some college students face, which is based on a survey that has reached more than 330,000 students and 400 colleges and universities. Some key findings include 39 percent of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days, 46 percent of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year, and 17 percent of respondents were homeless in the previous year. While the report also includes programs and policies to support students' basic needs, it strongly recommends focusing on prevention rather than only responding to emergencies.
2020 AASHE Workshop: Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership
Become familiar with the philosophy of change in higher education developed through the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona University and adapted at Emory in Piedmont Project. Learn how to lead curriculum change for sustainability by participating in a two-day workshop, June 3-4 at San Diego State University, featuring presentations, exercises, discussions, reflection and planning. Drs. Peggy Barlett and Geoffrey Chase will facilitate the workshop. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 16.