Scotland’s Colleges Achieve Living Wage Accreditation
(Scotland) Scotland's colleges recently received accreditation as Living Wage Employers. The commitment means that all staff, whether directly employed or contracted via a third party, will receive upwards of the current hourly rate of $13.11 (9.50 British pounds).
Tulane U Increases Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour
In an effort to support income growth and greater equity and economic well-being in the community, the university recently announced an increase in minimum wage for all staff from $10.82 per hour to $15 per hour, effective Oct. 1. The university will also standardize student wages by raising the minimum hourly rate to $10, and is giving special consideration to outside contractors who pay a $15 per hour minimum wage or who have a documented plan within a reasonable timeframe to achieve that rate.
Johns Hopkins U & Health System to Adopt $15 Minimum Wage
The recent announcement of adopting an enterprise-wide $15 minimum wage will directly benefit more than 6,000 Maryland employees. The minimum wage applies to all employees, as well as temporary workers, student workers and contract workers who work full-time on campus.
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.
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.
Portland State U Police Discontinue Carrying Firearms
In an effort to reimagine how best to address the continuum of safety on its campus, the university's Campus Public Safety Office recently decided to patrol campus without carrying firearms beginning this fall. Additionally, the university announced the creation of a safety committee tasked with assessing how to keep campus safe without relying on officers carrying firearms and provide innovative solutions to an array of safety and security needs, including providing basic security and assisting those who are in crisis.
U Pittsburgh Offers Bike Service for Free
With support from the university's Office of Sustainability, Office of Parking, Transportation and Services and a grant from Pepsi, the university recently announced an expansion of the Healthy Ride program, which will provide unlimited, free 30-minute rides to students, faculty and staff throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
Cornell U Announces Racial Justice Initiatives
In a recent address to the campus body, the university's president asked the Faculty Senate to, as soon as possible, create and implement an educational requirement on racism, bias and equity for all students; create an anti-racism center; and launch an institution-wide themed semester focused on issues of racism in the U.S. through relevant readings and discussions. Additional announced changes include oversight of the university's police department; the creation new professional development programs with a focus on staff of color; make diversity, equity and inclusion part of the performance dialogue process; implement equity and cultural competency trainings for all staff; and make Juneteenth a permanent university holiday.
15 Winners Receive $1.6M to Support Student Parents
Imaginable Futures and Lumina Foundation recently announced 15 winners of the Rise Prize, which awarded $1.55 million in combined prizes to innovative ideas for supporting the postsecondary success of student parents by addressing the systemic barriers they face.
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.
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.
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 Minnesota Limits Relationship With Minneapolis Police Department
As a result of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), the University of Minnesota president recently announced changes to how the university police department will work with the MPD. The university's police department will no longer contract with the MPD for additional law enforcement support needed for large events, such as football games, concerts and ceremonies, or for when specialized services are needed for university events, such as K-9 Explosive detection units.
U Louisville Initiates Equity Changes
In an effort to confront police brutality and building names with ties to slavery, representatives from the Black Student Union recently provided a list of demands to the university leadership. Following the meeting, the university committed to the following: ensure that the university police department is the lead law enforcement agency when dealing with a member of the campus community; perform an equity audit on all criminal justice academic programs; reduce the need for external law enforcement support at athletic events; provide de-escalation and cultural sensitivity training for officers working university events or hired by the university police department, and remove the term "overseer" from the name of its Honors House.
Emory U to Install 5.5 MW of Solar
The university will install more than 15,000 solar panels across 16 buildings on its Druid Hills campus, which will generate approximately 10 percent of Emory’s peak energy requirements. The project is part of a 20-year agreement to install 5.5 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity across campus.
U New Hampshire Creates Student Hardship Fund
The university's newest student assistance program helps undergraduate and graduate students dealing with a temporary or unexpected hardship. The Student Emergency Assistance Fund offers short-term assistance, ranging from $100 to $500, for such things as emergency travel, medical costs, safety and security needs, auto repairs and academic supplies.
U Pittsburgh Launches Student Emergency Fund
The Student Government Association recently announced the launch of the Student Emergency Assistance Fund. Students can apply for a grant from the fund to cover expenses such as medical necessities, food insecurity and unexpected travel expenses. The maximum request that can be made by a student is $600.
Missouri U Science & Technology Launches Emergency Fund
The new Miner Resilience Fund aims to help students meet basic needs with short-term financial assistance, allow the university to expand counseling and wellness programs online, and ease technology difficulties for students in remote areas where internet access can be a problem.
U Pennsylvania Provides Community Emergency Support
The university recently announced a series of new initiatives that total $4 million in emergency financial assistance to Penn employees, third-party contract workers and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The university’s dedication of $4 million for these new initiatives is in addition to the $1 million employee assistance fund announced earlier this month by Penn Medicine, for a total of $5 million in emergency.
Emerson College Creates COVID-19 Emergency Fund
The college recently created an emergency fund to help students pay their rent, transport themselves back home, rent learning equipment and more. Every member of the board of trustees, including the president, made gifts and pledges, bringing the total to $72,000.
Pennsylvania State U Launches Student Emergency Fund
The university recently announced that all new contributions to its Student Care & Advocacy Emergency Fund will be used for those who are challenged to afford housing, transportation, basic needs and access to required resources for remote learning, or who are facing other unforeseen personal difficulties as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Western Carolina U Makes Emergency Funds Available to Students
University administrators are currently urging students who are suffering extreme financial distress because of displacement caused by the coronavirus to apply for financial assistance from the university’s Student Emergency Fund. The funds may be used for rent, utilities, car repairs, medical and dental expenses, gas and other unexpected financial emergencies, but not university-related expenses.
Georgia Tech Announces COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Students
The new fund has been established to support students who have a demonstrated financial need related to the COVID-19 crisis and campus closures. Funding is available to all enrolled Georgia Tech students and can be used to alleviate financial challenges, including travel assistance, housing assistance, medical expenses, moving costs, financial support, and food insecurity.
Cornell U Reduces Chemical Use on Floors
The building services department now uses one floor-stripping chemical rather than eight; two floor finishing products down from 13; and one standard floor cleaner. The new products are free of odor, allowing staff to work during regular hours.
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.
Appalachian State U Adds Vegan Dining Station
The new, completely vegan food station, Terra Verde, has a menu of in-house made meals featuring whole-food ingredients and designed around a five-week rotation that changes each semester.
Syracuse U Offers Free Meditation App
Through a new partnership, university students, faculty and staff have free premium access to the mobile meditation app Sanvello. The app provides daily tools to help manage mental health based on cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation.
California State U Channel Islands Library Turns Fines to Food
The university's John Spoor Broome Library is now turning late fees into donations for the campus food pantry by offering $1 for every can or non-perishable, non-expired food or personal care item donated, up to $10. All items donated go to the campus' food and commodity pantry.
Princeton Theological Seminary Addresses Ties to Slavery
A year-long historical audit uncovered that, while the seminary did not own slaves and its buildings were not constructed with slave labor, it benefited from the slave economy. Therefore, the religious college's board of trustees unanimously endorsed a series of new initiatives, ranging from increased student financial assistance to curriculum changes to added support for the Center for Black Church Studies. To support the more than 20 approved initiatives in perpetuity, $27.6 million will be reserved in the endowment.
U Virginia Raises Contractors Wage to $15 Per Hour
The university’s major contractors, working in partnership with UVA, will raise the wages of their full-time employees to at least $15 per hour, effective Jan. 1. The move will increase the wages of more than 800 full-time contracted employees, which represents nearly 90 percent of full-time contracted employees who work regularly on the university grounds.