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.
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.
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.
U Maine Receives Grant to Recycle Greenhouse Plastic
The university's Cooperative Extension has been awarded $38,764 by a State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection Waste Diversion Grant to develop a statewide pilot program to recycle agricultural greenhouse plastic. The program’s goal is to collect at least one-third of Maine’s annual waste greenhouse plastic, and partner with an end-user who can convert the collected plastic into resin feedstock used in the manufacture of new plastic products.
Colorado State U Receives $20M for Community Resilience
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has renewed a $20 million partnership for a Colorado State University engineering center designed to improve community resilience planning for natural hazards. The funding will extend the center of work for another five years, allowing its researchers to apply the modeling system they’ve developed to actual communities.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quinnipiac U Partners to Reduce Hunger
Quinnipiac Dining is now donating its excess food directly to local residents through Haven’s Harvest, a non-profit organization that currently provides food to those facing food insecurity throughout Greater New Haven. Starting in January, Quinnipiac students will work with Haven’s Harvest to deliver the food throughout Hamden each weekday during the academic year.
William & Mary Receives $19M for Environmental Institute
The college recently received a $19.3 million gift from an alumna who wishes to remain anonymous to establish the Institute for Integrative Conservation. To be launched in 2020, the institute will be a cross-disciplinary and cross-sector institute to advance solutions to the world’s most pressing conservation and sustainability challenges.
U Tennessee Partners on Forest Conservation
The UT Institute of Agriculture and The Nature Conservancy recently signed an agreement to manage the university's forested research properties under The Nature Conservancy's Working Woodlands Program, which was established in 2009 to engage landowners in securing and sustainably managing their forestlands to benefit the environment and local livelihoods. Through Working Woodlands, the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center will work to achieve Forest Stewardship Council certification for 11,400 acres of forested properties that spread across four counties. In addition to forest certification, as part of the agreement, The Nature Conservancy will provide a conduit for the university to access carbon offset markets.
US Senators Introduce Amendments to the 'Higher Education Sustainability Act'
In mid-November, four U.S. senators introduced a bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 that would reauthorize a competitive grant program called the University Sustainability Program. As proposed, eligible institutions and associations, consortiums or collaborations that are working in partnership with at least one higher education institution could receive grants for the purpose of establishing sustainability programs to design and implement the teaching and practice of sustainability.
Georgetown U Offers Discount on Bikeshare
A new low-cost partnership with the Capital Bikeshare University Program makes bicycling more financially accessible by decreasing annual membership costs from $85 to $25 for all Georgetown undergraduate, graduate, Law Center and Medical Center students.
Northern Kentucky U Joins Urban Collective for Sustainability
The university recently joined the Cincinnati 2030 District, which is part of an international network of cities developing a new model for urban sustainability. Facilitated locally by Green Umbrella, the Cincinnati 2030 District provides private-public partnerships and resources to help advance sustainability goals. The organization’s commitment to sustainability aligns with the university’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
U Virginia and William & Mary to Partner on Climate Change Initiatives
The two universities recently announced plans to work together on sustainability and climate change initiatives, including a shared goal for each institution to be carbon neutral by 2030. They intend to regularly share information and resources on their respective strategic climate action plans and implementation, and collaborate on outreach and engagement opportunities internally and with their surrounding localities.
Clarkson U & Region Receive LEED Gold for Cities & Communities
With the help of the executive officer of Clarkson University's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Howard E. Lechler Endowed Director of Construction Engineering Management, Erik C. Backus, the region where Clarkson University is located–Lake Placid and the New York State Olympic region–is now USGBC LEED Gold for Cities and Communities. LEED-certified cities and communities measures and tracks outcomes and evaluates progress against key metrics, including energy, water, waste and transportation, and factors relating to quality of life.
Pennsylvania State U Abington Unveils Produce Distribution
A new partnership between the university's Abington campus and a regional hunger relief organization adds fresh, weekly produce distribution to the offerings available from the campus’ LionShare food pantry. The program kicked off in mid-November with the delivery of 1,000 pounds of cabbage, bananas, apples and cherry tomatoes.
Emory U Partners to Purchase Local Food
A new partnership between the university and The Conservation Fund aims to help break down barriers faced by farmers and supply campus with fresh, local, sustainably grown food. The Conservation Fund’s Working Farms Fund purchases farmland within a 100-mile radius of metro Atlanta, placing conservation easements on it to permanently protect it from development and harmful environmental practices, and leases the land to farmers with a 10-year path to ownership, selling it to them at the end of their lease. In turn, Emory enters into food purchase agreements with those farmers.
U Pittsburgh Launches 'Center for Sustainable Business'
Established with seed funding from The Heinz Endowments, the Center for Sustainable Business aims to engage global and regional companies in more effectively integrating environmental and societal concerns into their business models.
UK Students Launch Educational Reform Campaign
(U.K.) The U.K. Student Climate Network and Students Organising for Sustainability recently launched a joint campaign called Teach the Future to repurpose the education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis, and lays out six demands as a path to achieve this goal.
U North Carolina Wilmington Begins Recycling Polystyrene
A new polystyrene densifier enables the university to recycle polystyrene products, such as to-go food containers, coffee cups and packing materials. The university is also inviting the general public to dropoff polystyrene for recycling.
Ashoka U Launches 'Student Changemaker Stories Campaign'
The new campaign launched by Ashoka U aims to shift the narrative around what it means to be a changemaker and who can be one, on campus and beyond. It seeks to accomplish this by publishing weekly stories of individuals who have navigated breakthroughs, overcome challenges, and embraced dynamic experiences during their time as student changemakers.
Ten HEI Projects Receive $25K From Ford College Community Challenge
Projects at the following universities and colleges were recently selected to receive a Ford College Community Challenge grant of $25,000: Centenary University, College for Creative Studies, Eastern Michigan University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, Salt Lake Community College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne State University (two projects selected). Each project will be led by students who will work with a nonprofit to address one of these categories: social mobility, smart mobility or building a sustainable community.
U Virginia Launches New Equity Center
The UVA Equity Center will foster partnerships between Charlottesville-area community leaders and university faculty in an effort to tangibly redress racial and socioeconomic inequality. The center hopes to change the way UVA scholars interact with members of the surrounding community, replacing the current model with one that is respectful, collaborative and beneficial to the communities.
Guilford College Professor Wins Campus Compact Faculty Award
Diya Abdo, an associate professor of English at Guilford College, won the Campus Compact 2019 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award, which recognizes one senior faculty member each year for exemplary engaged scholarship. Abdo founded the Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR) initiative, which advocates for housing refugee families on campuses, based on the idea that colleges and universities have all the resources necessary–housing, food, care, skill-building–to take in refugees and support them as they begin their lives in their new homes.
U Louisville Contributes Old Stadium Seating for City Bus Stops
A partnership between the University of Louisville's Urban Design Studio and Louisville Metro Council saved 120 seats from going to the landfill as the former Cardinal Stadium was demolished earlier this year. Instead, the seats are being installed at some of the city's bus stops.
Montclair State U Students Help Improve Polystyrene Recycling
A group of students through the university's Institute for Sustainability Studies Green Team program helped study and improve a local circular recycling system for polystyrene. In addition to calculating the savings from disposal charges and the return on investment, the team developed promotional strategies aimed at dispelling the myth that polystyrene cannot be recycled.
U California Santa Cruz Creates Campus Living Lab Map
The new website is an interactive map that catalogs the full range of university living lab projects, with program descriptions, links to websites, and contact information for students and faculty to learn more and/or get involved. It is organized by six categories: agroecology; design and engineering; environmental education; environmental justice and sustainability; UCSC natural reserves; and stewardship and natural history.
Caltech to Receive $750M Donation for Environmental Research
Philanthropists and entrepreneurs Stewart and Lynda Resnick have announced an unprecedented $750 million pledge to the California Institute of Technology to support research in solar science, climate science, energy, biofuels, decomposable plastics, water and environmental resources, and ecology and biosphere engineering. In recognition of the investment, Caltech will construct a new 75,000-square-foot building, to be named the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center. The center will serve as the hub for energy and sustainability research on campus as well as the home of undergraduate teaching laboratories.
U Wisconsin Milwaukee Uses 'Green Suits' to Raise Awareness
The university's Office of Sustainability worked with artists from the Green Suits initiative to bring a playful energy to the topic of climate change by dressing up in green suits and having their picture taken with campus projects that advance sustainability. The Green Suits initiative is a project of Inside the Greenhouse, a University of Colorado-Boulder program that uses theater, dance, filmmaking and writing to connect a wider audience to discussions of climate change.
31 Institutions Form the Anchor Learning Network
The Anchor Learning Network is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and The Democracy Collaborative. Building on the success of the year-long pilot program launched in 2018, brings colleges and universities together to jointly explore how they can adopt an anchor mission: using their place-based assets—educational and operational—to advance the well-being of the communities they call home.
Hampton U Offers Enrollment to Displaced Bahamian Students
In an effort to help those students and families affected by Hurricane Dorian, Hampton University is entering into an agreement with the University of the Bahamas-North to allow students who have been displaced by the hurricane to continue their education on HU’s campus. Students from the University of the Bahamas-North will be able to attend classes at Hampton for the fall 2019 semester, receive room and board for one semester, and will have the option to stay at Hampton once the semester is over at regular rates for tuition and fees.
Arizona State U Launches Civic Engagement Awareness Campaign
The university's McCain Institute for International Leadership rolled out a new initiative, called We Hold These Truths, designed to engage the public on human rights and to teach liberties. The campaign specifically targets young people in the U.S. who are interested in progress, safety and freedom. The institute hopes to educate and galvanize the public to explore and engage — through the lens of the First Amendment — in human rights in a meaningful way that’s relevant and resonant to their own experiences, and then act to protect and preserve rights for others across the country and globe.
Arizona State U Partners on Water Efficiency Research
The university will participate in research with the city's water services department through a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The water conservation research will use the university's 12 acres of soccer fields to test the efficacy of hydrogels, which can potentially absorb up to 400 percent of their water weight and release nearly all of it back into the turf as needed.
Washington Monthly Releases 'Best Colleges for Student Voting' List
The Washington Monthly ranking represents their second year for measuring how well colleges encourage their students to vote, boosting democratic participation and civic engagement. The ranking is based on data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE).
Harvard U Commits $20M on Affordable Housing Project
To help combat the growing housing crisis that is hitting lower-income and working-class residents particularly hard, the university recently announced a commitment of $20 million to an initiative aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing in Greater Boston. Through the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative, the university has partnered with three local, nonprofit community-development lenders to create and preserve affordable housing, build and revitalize healthy communities, and create economic opportunities for low- and middle-income residents throughout the region.
George Washington U Partners to Improve Health Through Impact Investing
The university’s Institute for Corporate Responsibility and the Global Healthy Living Foundation recently announced their partnership to expand the role of impact investing to improve health. Initially, the two entities will convene a working group of stakeholders, including leaders from the private sector, philanthropy, and non-profit organizations, to define a global framework for healthcare impact investing and resources for funders and grantees.
U Glasgow & U West Indies Partner on Slavery Education
(U.K. & Jamaica) A memorandum of understanding was signed after a Report into Historical Slavery at the University of Glasgow was released in September 2018 that recommended the two universities collaborate. The report acknowledged that while the University of Glasgow played a leading role in the abolitionist movement in the 18th and 19th centuries, the institution also received significant financial support from people whose wealth was derived, in part, from slavery. The two universities have agreed to establish the Glasgow-Caribbean Center for Development Research, which will help to raise public awareness about the history of slavery and its impact around the world.
U Guam to Launch Circular Economy Initiative
With the help of a $10,000 grant awarded to the Center for Island Sustainability, the university is launching the Guam Green Growth (G3) Initiative to contribute to a circular economy for Guam. The G3 Initiative will start in August by offering the first-ever Island Circular Economy Industry Workshop for small-business owners and entrepreneurs. It will stimulate new island circular economy industries by working with the regional economic development authority and a business incubator organization.
UC3 Launches 'Research for Policy Platform'
The University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) launched the Research for Policy Platform at their inaugural event in July. The joint research and development platform will establish a unified set of principles and policies in order to directly support higher education leaders in local, national and international, 1.5 degree-aligned climate policy engagement. The coalition now includes 20 research universities with the recent addition of Queen’s University and The University of Utah.
U Kentucky Receives Award for HR Wellness Initiatives
The Human Resources department's community-supported agriculture (CSA) program received the HR Innovation Award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) for reducing the cost of buying organic produce and supporting local farms. The CSA benefit provides participants with a voucher for either $200 toward a large share or $100 toward a small share of weekly produce from a participating local organic farm of their choice. The program had 470 participants in 2019.
U Basque Country Creates SDG Roadmap
(Spain) The university recently launched a website that maps the university's efforts to 12 of the 17 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and includes an additional commitment to linguistic and cultural diversity, and uses the 12+1 as a roadmap for its work. Each goal includes targets and key indicators that enable monitoring and measurement.