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.
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.
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.
U Pittsburgh Partners to Deliver Meal Kits to Community
Pitt’s Dining Services and the Office of Community and Governmental Relations recently partnered with Pitt’s dining services provider to hand out 5,000 meal boxes provided through the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program. The meal kits, made up of meat, dairy and produce boxes, plus a gallon of milk, are designed to provide enough food for 10 family meals. Items inside included chicken, butter, cheese, eggs, apples, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
U Massachusetts Amherst Begins Equity & Climate Change Project
The new project called Elevating Equity Values in the Transition of the Energy System (ELEVATE) unites scholars from across disciplines to conduct research at the intersection of electricity technology, climate science, social equity, and energy economics and policy, with the aim of ensuring transformation of the electric grid is both sustainable and benefits all members of society equitably. The program was awarded two grants totaling $6.3 million from the National Science Foundation.
NCAA Hosts Diversity & Inclusion Social Media Campaign
The Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign, happening Oct. 26 - 29, is a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness and engagement, and educating about importance of inclusive environments in college sports.
Eight Institutions Form 'Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery'
British Columbia Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, SAIT Polytechnic, Mohawk College, Seneca College, Nergica, Nova Scotia Community College, and Holland College formed the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery. The Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will help young people receive training needed to take part in a sustainable, climate-focused post-COVID-19 economic recovery. They will have quarterly online meetings to allow participating institutions to share their recovery solutions and will host webinars by faculty and researchers from the eight institutions.
Loyola U Chicago Center to Focus on Supply Chain Sustainability
Housed in the university's Business Leadership Hub, the Supply and Value Chain Center changed its name recently to the Supply Chain and Sustainability Center to reflect the increased importance of sustainability across industries. The center will continue to offer programs, education and applied research to its members, including the supply chain and sustainability management essential certificate program.
William & Mary Partners to Offer Scholarships
A recent partnership with The Posse Foundation will enable the college to provide full scholarships to diverse cohorts of students, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college.
U California Los Angeles Develops Anti-Racism Hub Focusing on Asian Americans
A new website, the Movement Hub, was developed by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge to serve as a centralized platform to amplify on-the-ground activism and organizing by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The website offers resources for and by AAPI organizations to promote cross-racial unity.
Saint Louis U Establishes Institute for Healing Justice & Equity
A new institute at Saint Louis University has been established to help eliminate disparities caused by systemic oppression and to promote healing. The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity will begin its work with a founding investment by SLU of more than $1.7 million. Through research, training, community engagement and public policy development, the institute will help build equitable communities by assessing and promoting best practices that foster healing from social injustice, trauma and oppression.
Cornell U Receives $1.5M to Help Increase Digital Tech Access
Cornell engineers and researchers were recently awarded $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to collaborate with community partners to design the nation’s first statewide Internet of Things public infrastructure in an effort to reduce the barriers to access to digital technology.
Washington Monthly Publishes 'Best Colleges for Student Voting' List
Compiled from information through All In Campus Democracy Challenge and the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University, the Washington Monthly ranking measures how well colleges encourage their students to vote, boosting democratic participation and civic engagement. This year, a total of 157 schools made the list, which was ordered by the voter registration rate.
Georgia Tech Introduces SDGs Initiative
The university recently announced that it will use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to implement its new strategic plan, advance organizational innovation, strengthen the university’s local and global collaborations, and address urgent challenges such as COVID-19 and racial injustice.
U Illinois Chicago Receives $5M for Public Health Clinics
The university recently received $5 million to support the UIC-Shawnee Health Service Black Lung Clinics Program for five more years. The program provides diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and compensation counseling services to coal miners living in Illinois and Indiana. Additionally, a $625,000 grant will support its Black Lung Data and Resource Center, which serves as a national resource, and a $400,000 grant will allow the center to expand its research on health outcomes among former coal miners.
Davidson College Issues Apology for Benefiting From Slavery
The college recently issued a public apology for its support of slavery during the college’s first 30 years and its embrace of the unjust laws and false ideas that upheld racist systems and practices after slavery was outlawed. In tandem with the apology, the college released a report from the Commission on Race and Slavery, which proposes funding and action steps for building name changes, anti-racism training, auditing admissions and hiring with a racial equity lens, and further research and public education about the college's history where intertwined with slavery.
William & Mary Establishes Social Justice Policy Initiative
Starting this fall, the new Social Justice Policy Initiative in the sociology department is a faculty-student collaborative project to engage in policy-oriented and community-based research and advocacy. The initiative aims to bring sociological and interdisciplinary research to community-based and advocacy organizations and policy-makers at local, state, national and global levels. The initial projects are affordable housing, educational equity, eviction crisis, racial and partisan gerrymandering, food justice, and local black histories.
Pennsylvania HEIs Partner With Municipalities on Climate Action
Twelve Pennsylvania colleges and universities are participating in the state's Department of Environmental Protection's Local Climate Action Program, which pairs municipalities with college students for assistance in developing the components of their local climate action plans. The participants learn how to measure local greenhouse gas emissions, assess local climate-related vulnerabilities and develop plans to reduce emissions and manage climate change impacts in their communities.
U Virginia Opens 'Memorial to Enslaved Laborers'
Designed by Thomas Jefferson and built by enslaved people, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, recognizing Black workers subjected to slavery and racism and offers a place of healing as well as learning. The circular shape of the memorial echoes broken shackles and also the “ring shout,” a traditional dance of enslaved African Americans.
U Hawai'i Receives $1.5M for Food & Ag Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced a $1.5 million grant to the university to expand education programs focused on food, agriculture and natural resources. Nine campuses will share $1.04 million for education and training resources for underrepresented individuals and businesses to break the cycle of resource and employment insecurity. UH Maui College will receive close to $500,000 to support a research methods and communications course and internships with local industry and nonprofit organizations to prepare students for science-based careers, particularly in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences.
Five International Universities Receive $20K for Civic Engagement
The Talloires Network recently awarded a total of $100,000 to five university-community partnerships around the world responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The grantees are Meridian Global University (Cameroon) and the Access Care Foundation; Mount Kenya University (Kenya) and Partners for Care; Veracruz University (Mexico) and the Veracruz State Department of the Environment; National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (Nicaragua) in Managua in collaboration with municipal mayors and non-profit community institutions; and University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) and the Glen Norah Community Cooperative. The grants are part of the University Award for Innovative Civic Engagement, a program established by the Talloires Network in partnership with Open Society Foundations.
MIT Launches Climate Change & Global Poverty Initiative
With a founding $25 million gift from King Philanthropies, MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is launching the King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI). The new initiative will study programs reducing the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations, and then work with policymakers to scale up the most successful interventions. K-CAI intends to help improve the lives of at least 25 million people over the next decade. Its first funded projects will be selected by the end of 2020.
Three HEIs Sign Onto Sports for Climate Action Framework
The Ohio State University, Wake Forest University and the University of Miami recently signed onto the U.N.'s Sports for Climate Action Framework joining the University of Colorado Boulder. Signatories of the framework commit to five core principles in environmental responsibility, climate impact, education, consumption, and advocating and communication. Globally over 120 athletics programs have signed onto the framework.
U California Berkeley Students Win the Student Corporate Engagement Competition
A panel of judges recently selected a team from the University of California, Berkeley as the inaugural winners of the SIILK Corporate Engagement Competition. They were recognized for preparing strong investment recommendations and shareholder engagement strategy to improve company performance (and investment returns) through better environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network, the Student Corporate Engagement Competition invites student teams to write and present an investment recommendation for a publicly-traded company listed on any major exchange, and include in the investment recommendation a proposed shareholder engagement strategy that aims to improve company financial and sustainability performance.
Indiana U Accepts 2020 'Excellence in Sustainability Award'
The university received the NACUBO 2020 Excellence in Sustainability Award for its Indiana Sustainability Development Program, which aims to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for sustainability jobs within the state. NACUBO's Excellence in Sustainability Award recognizes institutions for a specific campus innovation, process or program that advances environmental sustainability in higher education or progress toward a more environmentally sustainable future.
Williams College Invests in Local Carbon Reduction Projects
Through a partnership with the environmental nonprofit Center for EcoTechnology, the college is investing in the Community Climate Fund, a portfolio of projects that yields a measurable carbon reduction, significant social and financial benefits in the local community, and curricular and research opportunities for students and faculty. The initial $100,000 investment is being used toward building materials recovery, a solar wall for a local childcare center, and energy-efficient heating system upgrades for low-income homes.
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.
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.
Ferris State U Announces Wege Prize Winners
First place winner of the Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition is Georgia Tech and Makerere University (Uganda) for creating biodegradable materials while mitigating the threat of invasive species. Second place is Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Oakland University for closing the loop on campus food waste. Third place is Ashesi University (Ghana), Earth University (Costa Rica) and Trinity College for turning waste streams into economic opportunity while nurturing soil health. The Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition is an annual international design competition organized by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.
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 Virginia Partnership Increases Adoption of Solar Energy
In an effort to help the state reach its carbon neutrality goal of 2050, the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has partnered with the state’s Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy to host an advisory program, SolSmart, aimed to help local governments implement and embrace solar energy.
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.
U Puerto Rico Receives $1.4M to Reduce Diesel Emissions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a grant of $1.4 million to the university that will provide funding to replace 15 old, heavy-duty trucks. The university will also develop seminars for diesel vehicle owners and the general public in Puerto Rico to raise awareness about the harmful environmental impacts of diesel emissions, including those from idling, and resources available to help reduce diesel emissions.
Recyclemania Announces 2020 Results
Across nearly 300 campuses in 43 states, more than 48 million pounds of waste was recycled, donated or composted over a five-week term (originally the term was eight weeks, but it was cut short due to COVID-19 closings). There were nine winners across nine categories this year. Additionally, in celebration of Recyclemania's 20th anniversary, the program announced a name change to Campus Race to Zero Waste.
Clemson U Introduces Virtual Map of Food Resources
University faculty and staff, in coordination with the United Way and Ten at the Top, recently released an interactive map that provides information on different food resources for individuals and families facing food insecurity. The regional map includes nearly 400 providers across 10 counties complete with information on the type of assistance they provide as well as operating hours and availability.
Four Canadian Institutions to Enhance Support for Indigenous Students
A total of $380,000 from the Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Program will be evenly divided between Coast Mountain College, the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, and the University of Northern British Columbia to enhance support for Indigenous students and invest in technological solutions to improve access for remote education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous students studying at the four institutions can receive academic mentoring and mental health counselling to help navigate the barriers and challenges that come with isolation at home.
Washington U St. Louis Helps City Adopt Building Standards
Staff from the WashU Office of Sustainability worked closely with the City of St. Louis since the fall of 2019 to develop a strategy for ambitious and achievable building energy performance standards, which were adopted in April and signed into law in May. The Building Energy Performance Standards set energy-efficiency targets for all new and existing buildings in St. Louis, while working towards a goal of reducing emissions 100 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, and improving indoor and outdoor air quality by reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
U Illinois Chicago Contributes 5,000 Masks
As part of a new partnership between the UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA) and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, costume fabricators are making COVID-19 patient masks. This partnership already has resulted in the manufacture of 5,000 facemasks, which were delivered to the University of Illinois Hospital in early April.
Brandeis U Kitchens Make Meals for Healthcare Workers
Meals for doctors, nurses and administrative staff at five Boston-area hospitals are now being prepared in Brandeis University kitchens. Sodexo runs the kitchens and has hired additional staff — including some students who are still on campus — to prepare meals for hospital workers. Brandeis kitchens recently prepared and sent 2,200 meals to area hospitals.
U California Berkeley to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
The university recently adopted a single-use elimination policy that seeks to eliminate all non-essential single-use plastic, both non-recyclable and recyclable, by 2030. The ban focuses on food-ware and plastic bags, and addresses the spectrum of products and packaging used in campus academics, research, administration and events.
U Illinois Chicago Leads Working Group to Protect Monarch Butterflies
A partnership between the university and 45 energy and transportation agencies resulted in the release of a formal agreement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that seeks to protect monarch butterflies. Using the agreement, public and private property owners and land managers can voluntarily adopt conservation measures that are beneficial to the monarch, which is currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The development of the agreement was undertaken by the university's Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group and facilitated by the UIC Energy Resources Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
New York U Helps Feed Food Insecure
In an effort to combat increased food insecurity caused by the pandemic, NYU Dining Services and Chartwells Higher Education dining donated nearly 1,300 pounds of food in early April to a New York City food rescue organization.
U Pittsburgh Launches 'Sustaining Sustainability' Podcast
Produced by the university's Center for Sustainable Business, the new podcast series Sustaining Sustainability explores sustainability lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Various societal challenges magnified by the COVID-19 crisis are explored weekly through 10-minute interviews.
Open Society University Network Launches COV-AID
The Open Society University Network, in partnership with the Talloires Network, recently announced the launch of COV-AID: Communities of Virtual Alliance & Inter-Dependence, to support universities engaged in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COV-AID seeks to collect and share stories of institutions and individuals who are taking action to mitigate the crisis, document practical steps and strategies that may be of use elsewhere, provide uplifting content, and strengthen public support for engaged universities.