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.
Second Nature Receives $303K to Support Cross-Sector Climate Action
Second Nature recently received $303,000 from a private donor to further the organization’s work advancing collaboration and partnerships across sectors for scalable climate solutions. Second Nature’s cross-sector climate programs are part of its newly released core strategy to exponentially accelerate climate action through higher education over the next decade.
Chatham U Launches Community Food Bank Farm
Students at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability and Environment are now growing a variety of crops for local communities in need through a partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Green Grocer mobile farmers market program.
U Iowa Connects Scientists With Community
The university's Office of Sustainability launched the Sustainability Scientists and Scholars database at the start of the summer to help connect researchers and professors with each other and the local community. The database currently holds 42 different profiles for all faculty levels, scientists, research staff, research administration and graduate students. It hosts over 200 topics and fields ranging from water quality to geological processes, economics, and climate change.
Indiana U Bloomington Initiates Resilience Cohort Program
This summer as part of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program, eight students in the first Resilience Cohort will be hosted by cities, towns and counties to complete greenhouse gas inventories, which will provide data on topics such as the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of the energy supplied to their grid, and residents' vehicle types and fuel usages. The result of a new partnership with the Environmental Resilience Institute, the Resilience Cohort is a new project under Sustain IU's extern program, supported by the McKinney Family Foundation.
Appalachian State U Donates Toward Solar Energy for Local Nonprofit
With help of a $13,500 grant from the university, a photovoltaic system was recently installed on the barn of a local nonprofit that rescues horses. The newly installed solar panels will help power the barn’s lights, fans and heated rooms, and the farm’s approximately 2 acres of fencing.
U Arkansas Receives Acclaim for Homeless Housing Project
The university's Community Design Center and its collaborators were recently recognized by three awards programs for a homeless transition village project. The project, which seeks to provide cost-effective housing for low-income and extreme low-income populations and codify best practices, received accolades from the 2019 Green GOOD DESIGN by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design; the 2019 Great Places Award in the Place Planning category from the Environmental Design Research Association; and the PLAN Awards 2019, an international design awards program sponsored by The Plan magazine.
G7 President Launches U7 Alliance
The Group of Seven (G7), seven nations that represent the world's most advanced economies, this year led by the President Emmanuel Macron of France, recently announced the formation of the U7 Alliance. The U7 Alliance is an international alliance of university presidents who will engage both in discussion and in concrete action to address the most pressing global challenges in its first global summit in Paris on July 9 - 10, 2019. This inaugural summit, being attended by 46 university presidents, will tackle five major global challenges: the key role of universities in a global world, climate change and cleaner energy, inequality and polarized societies, technological transformations, and community engagement and impact.
Pac-12 Announces Winners of Zero Waste Challenge
The Pac-12 Conference recently announced honorees of the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge for the 2018-19 basketball season with the University of California, Berkeley being selected as both the overall winner as well as winner of the student-athlete engagement category. Also recognized as subcategory winners include Arizona State University (fan engagement) and the University of California, Los Angeles (most improved).
NOAA Awards $175M to U Maryland for Earth System Studies
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a five-year, $175 million cooperative funding agreement to the University of Maryland for collaborative research in Earth system science called the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies. Led by two principal investigators from the UMD and one from N.C. State University, this institute will be a national consortium of more than two dozen academic and nonprofit institutions aimed at research activities covering three themes: satellite services, Earth system observations and services, and Earth system research.
Southern Connecticut State U Declares Climate Change Global Emergency
In response to student advocacy, the university's president, Joe Bertolino, recently declared climate change a global emergency. The emergency declaration is based on the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report; unprecedented acceleration of atmospheric carbon levels that as of May 2019; and local community health, environmental, and economic risk.
NOAA Selects Seven Institutions to Conduct Sea Ecosystem Research
NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR), hosted by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has partnered with the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to carry out innovative, multidisciplinary research that will help inform decisions for sustainable and beneficial management of the U.S. Northeast continental shelf ecosystem.
U Maryland Receives $2.3M for GHG Reduction Research
Former mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, committed $2.3 million to the university's Center for Global Sustainability to evaluate and analyze current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reductions. As the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Bloomberg will submit the findings to the U.N. to demonstrate U.S. progress in meeting carbon reduction commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Furman U Approves Slavery & Justice Committee Actions
Approved at the university's board of trustees May meeting were a number of recommendations made by the board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice, including erecting a statue and creating day of celebration to honor the late Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first African-American student. Furman is a member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium headquartered at the University of Virginia, along with 10 other universities.
U California Davis Gets Grant for Water-Conserving Landscapes
The University of California, Davis’ California Center for Urban Horticulture recently received a donation from TreeTown USA to help develop water-conserving landscapes through the center's SmartLandscape Initiative. By combining low water-use plants with the latest available irrigation technology, the horticultural innovation center will be an educational tool focused on measuring and monitoring water use data and reducing urban landscape water waste.
U Colorado Boulder Athletics Signs Sports Climate Action Framework
The university's new commitment to the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework aims to reduce emissions in sports operations and tap the popularity and passion of sport to engage of fans in the effort. The U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework has two overarching objectives: to achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and to leverage sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens. Signatories of the framework commit to five core principles–undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.
U East London Students Tackle Plastic Waste on Beaches
(U.K.) The charity GreenSeas Trust approached the university's product design academics to ask if students would be interested in creating an impactful design for a bin that would inspire more people on beaches to dispose of plastic waste in bins. Two third-year students designed and created a bin in the shape of a life ring that will be rolled out on June 5, World Environment Day.
U California Concludes 2019 Cool Campus Challenge
The University of California system recently completed its month-long competition, Cool Campus Challenge, in which campuses compete to reduce their carbon footprint. UC Berkeley had the highest total points; UC Merced has the greatest percent participation; and UC San Francisco was the health location with highest points. A surge on the final day of competition helped push the total participants to over 22,000 students, staff and faculty from across all 10 University of California campus locations and the University of California Office of the President.
U Vermont Student Team Wins Social Investing Competition
Five students from UVM’s Sustainable Innovation MBA program won the inaugural Total Impact Portfolio Challenge, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Good Capital Project and Bank of America. Fordham University Gabelli School of Business clinched runner up. The competition is designed to challenge future wealth managers, portfolio managers and investment advisors to build financial portfolios that not only make their clients a profit but make the world a better place.
U California, San Francisco Receives $30M to Study Homelessness
Made possible by a $30 million gift, UC San Francisco recently announced the launch of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, a new center that will research root causes of homelessness and identify evidence-based solutions to prevent and end homelessness.
U Rhode Island Joins Offshore Wind Partnership
The university will soon lead an offshore wind program, bolstered by a $3 million investment by Ørsted and Eversource, the team behind the Revolution Wind project, which is an effort to support offshore wind education and development. The university will partner with other institutions in the state to support workforce development needs, develop educational curricula, and provide a depth of academic and research expertise.
Scholars Form Sport & Climate Change Research Collaborative
On Earth Day 2019, eight sport scholars formed the Sport Ecology Group, a collective of researchers who work at the intersection of sport and the natural environment. The Sport Ecology Group website features a database of published research on sport and the environment, including work on zero-waste campaigns, facility sustainability, college athletics sustainability, fan engagement and climate risk management.
Georgia Tech Receives $40K Grant for Sustainability Network
The Turner Foundation recently awarded the Georgia Tech Foundation a $40,000 grant to support two projects of the region’s new sustainability network, the Regional Center for Excellence (RCE) Greater Atlanta. The projects include a training program on the U.N. SDGs to be led by the RCE Greater Atlanta Youth Network and the fourth iteration of the Environmental Justice Academy leadership development program. RCE Greater Atlanta brings together 10 universities and colleges with nonprofit, community, government, and business partners to offer broad-based, multi-stakeholder educational and training programs that support key regional sustainable development efforts. It focuses especially on equity and justice issues inherent in sustainable development.
Eight Presidents Commit to Island Sustainability
At the Presidential Summit on Island Sustainability, the presidents of eight island colleges and universities committed to seek indigenous/island solutions to island problems, connect heads of research and workforce development with one another, create an inventory or website of best practices and solutions, and foster exchange visits of faculty, staff and students. The leaders present for the summit were from the University of Guam, Guam Community College, Northern Marianas College, the College of the Marshall Islands, the University of Hawaii, Western Philippines University in Palawan, Jeju National University in South Korea, and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Georgetown U Students Endorse Slavery Reconciliation Fund
Students recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum to establish a semesterly fee of $27.20 that would go toward a fund to benefit descendants of the GU272, the 272 enslaved people sold by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in 1838 to financially sustain the university. If approved by the university, the referendum would create a reconciliation fund, which would be presided over by a board of trustees including five students and five descendants.
American College Greece Holds Inaugural Climate Change Symposium
(Greece) The inaugural event focused on the economic consequences of climate change impacts and related risk estimates, the national plan for energy and climate, forecasting of extreme weather phenomena resulting in catastrophic flooding and fire incidences in the country, and the development of climate change adaptation plans.
Five Universities Partner to Address Food, Health, Climate Change Challenges
A new partnership involving North Carolina State University, Makerere University, Gulu University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, and Mount Kenya University in Kenya seeks to engage students at the institutions to find solutions to persistent global challenges such as food shortages, health challenges and the effects of climate change. The partnership is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with initial support of $14 million.
Arizona State U Initiates Well-Being Research Center
In partnership with and funded by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), the Global KAITEKI Center will focus on research aimed at realizing the concept of KAITEKI, that is, the sustainable well-being of people, society and planet Earth. It is an original concept of the MCHC that proposes a way forward in the sustainable development of society and the planet, and serves as a guide for solving environmental and social issues. The first four research projects, announced in early April, will be: Visualizing and Quantifying the Social Value of Future Business; Developing a Shared Roadmap for the Circular Economy in the Chemical Industry; Design, Development and Testing of Innovative Materials for Urban Cooling; and Food Waste Reduction and Well-Being for a Sustainable Future.
Pennsylvania State U Sustainability Institute Introduces Affiliate Program
Open to Penn State community members from all colleges and at all 24 campuses, the Affiliate Program is a new initiative for faculty, staff and students interested in becoming affiliates of the institute in order to build stakeholder communities with common interests in issues of sustainability in researching, teaching and engagement.
Chalmers U Tech Professor Contributes to New Environmental Cost ISO Standard
(Sweden) Over the past three years, Bengt Steen, professor emeritus at Chalmers, has led the development of a new ISO standard that will help companies evaluate and manage the impact of their environmental damage, by providing a clear figure for the cost of their goods and services to the environment. The ISO standard contains a guide for how monetary valuation should be made, defines terms and sets requirements for documentation.
U Florida Establishes Institute to Study Resilience in Built Environment
The Florida Institute for Built Environment Resilience, housed in the university's College of Design, Construction and Planning, will focus on research that helps communities respond to complex environmental challenges by improving the way they plan, design and build the physical environment.
21 HEIs Launch the Public Interest Technology University Network
With the support of the Ford Foundation, New America, and the Hewlett Foundation, 21 colleges and universities recently announced the creation of the Public Interest Technology University Network. The network is a new partnership dedicated to defining and building the field of public interest technology, as well as growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists and digitally fluent policy leaders. Public interest technology is a broadly defined and emerging area of study that combines digital innovation and public policy.
U Texas Arlington Creates UN Regional Center of Expertise
In an effort to unify sustainability efforts across North Texas, the university was recently approved to establish a U.N. Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. Called the North Texas RCE, the center aims to address how to advance sustainability in the face of a booming population.
Michigan Governor Proposes Tuition-Free Community College
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer proposed a tuition-free community college plan that would start in 2021 and include a $2,500 scholarship for eligible students who attend a four-year college. The proposal offers financial aid for students after all other federal aid and grants are applied to a student's tuition bill. Whitmer also proposed a tuition-free program for adults called Michigan Reconnect. The program would allow residents age 25 and older to enroll in the state's two-year institutions, career certificate programs and union apprenticeships for free.
U Maryland Professor Reports to Congress on Carbon Emissions
Speaking before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, Nathan Hultman, director of the university's Center for Global Sustainability in the School of Public Policy, outlined findings about how universities, businesses, states and cities are making important contributions to cutting carbon emissions in the U.S., even without the federal government’s support of the Paris Agreement’s goals on climate change. The findings Hultman reported on were from the most recent America's Pledge Initiative report, an assessment of how leaders are driving the U.S. toward a low-carbon future.
Binghamton U to Establish Institute for Social Justice for Women & Girls
A large donation from Ellyn Uram Kaschak '65 will be used to fund an institute focused on equality for women and girls. The institute will support faculty affiliates, practitioners-in-residence and student fellows at the graduate and undergraduate levels, all while fostering public engagement and outreach.
Mercer U Students Grow Food for Local Food Bank
Two third-year students at the university's School of Medicine are growing fresh produce for a local food bank to combat a lack of access to fresh, local food. They also create and donate health resource pamphlets with the food they donate.
U Maryland Unveils 'Do Good Accelerator' Program
The Do Good Accelerator program supports student teams by providing space and assistance to develop ventures and projects aimed both at tackling societal problems and building successful companies and nonprofits.