NY Times Blogs on Green Campus Rankings and Ratings

The New York Times has published a blog post on emerging campus sustainability ranking and rating systems. The post mentions the Princeton Review, the Sustainable Endowments Institute's Green Report Card, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the Sierra Club's "Eco-Enlightened" Colleges, and the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey of green MBA programs. Campuses mentioned include Harvard University (MA); Yale University (CT); the University of California, Berkeley; the University of New Hampshire; Dickinson College (PA); Middlebury College (VT); and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Treehugger Posts Top 10 Green U.S. Colleges

Treehugger has posted a slideshow of its list of "10 Greenest Colleges in the U.S." Campuses featured include: Tufts University (MA); Warren Wilson College (NC); University of New Hampshire; Middlebury College (VT); University of Colorado at Boulder; Stanford University (CA); University of Washington; University of Oregon; Yale University (CT); and College of the Atlantic (ME).

UC San Diego to Install 2.8 MW Fuel Cell and Storage System

The University of California, San Diego has received $11 million from the California Public Utilities Commission to install a fuel cell energy generation and storage system. The 2.8-megawatt fuel cell coupled with the 2.8-megawatt advanced energy-storage system will allow the University to store off-peak power and discharge the energy during peak-demand hours. In addition, UCSD will capture the waste heat generated by the fuel cell as a continuous power source for 320 tons of chilling capacity to cool campus buildings. The two units are scheduled for completion in 2010.

Christian Chronicle Covers Growth in Green Initiatives at Christian Colleges

The Christian Chronicle has published an article on the increase in sustainability initiatives on Christian college campuses. The story mentions projects at Lubbock Christian University (TX), Lipscomb University (TN), Pepperdine University (CA), Oklahoma Christian University, and Faulkner University (AL).

Christian Science Monitor Covers Ball State U's Geothermal Installation

The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on Ball State University's (IN) geothermal project. BSU is digging 3,750 to 4,000 wells to supply heating and cooling to most buildings on campus. Each well will be five inches in diameter and 400 feet deep. The project will save the University an estimated $2 million annually in fuel costs and will halve the campus' yearly carbon dioxide emissions.

Sierra Magazine Names Top 20 Coolest Schools

Sierra , the official magazine of the Sierra Club, has released its third annual ranking of planet-preserving colleges and universities. The list of "20 Coolest Schools" is based on a survey e-mailed to "sustainability experts" at institutions in the US and covered the following topics: efficiency, energy, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, and administration. They top 20 schools in order are: University of Colorado at Boulder; University of Washington; Middlebury College (VT); University of Vermont; College of the Atlantic (ME); The Evergreen State College (WA); University of California, Santa Cruz ; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; Oberlin College (OH); Harvard University (MA); University of New Hampshire; Arizona State University; Yale University (CT); University of Florida; Bates College (ME); Willamette University (OR); Warren Wilson College (NC); Dickinson College (PA); and New York University.

U Nevada Las Vegas Offers Minor in Solar & Renewable Energy

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas has announced plans to begin offering a minor in Solar and Renewable Energy starting this fall. The new minor, made possible by a $500,000 gift from NV Energy, is designed to boost student knowledge in the areas of solar and renewable energy utilization, sustainable building design, and global environmental challenges. The gift also includes funding for scholarships, undergraduate research opportunities, demonstration equipment, and internships with either NV Energy or local agencies with a strong focus in renewable and solar energy. The degree program is housed in the UNLV department of environmental studies and consists of both policy and science and engineering tracks.

Wayne State U Receives $5M for 4 Electric Vehicle Engineering Prgms

Wayne State University (MI) has received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to provide an electric vehicle (EV) engineering education and workforce training program. The proposed degrees include a master's in Electric-Drive Vehicle Engineering; a bachelor's in Electric Transportation Technology; an associate's in Automotive Technology and Electronic Engineering Technology; and a graduate certificate program in Electric-Drive Vehicle Engineering. The degree programs are expected to launch in January.

Campuses Urge Senate to Support Obama's Energy Education Plan

A group of over 100 universities, professional associations, and student groups joined the Breakthrough Institute in submitting a letter urging the U.S. Senate to fully support the Obama administration's national energy education initiative. The initiative, named "RE-ENERGYSE" (REgaining our ENERGY Science and Engineering Edge), aims to produce thousands of highly-skilled U.S. energy workers and develop new energy education programs at American universities and K-12 schools. The program would develop between 5,000 and 8,500 highly educated scientists, engineers, and other professionals to enter the clean energy field by 2015, which would rise to 10,000 -17,000 professionals by 2020. The Technical Training and K-12 Education subprogram would create between 200 to 300 community college and other training programs to prepare thousands of technically skilled workers for clean energy jobs.

Portland State U Students Pass Green Fee

Portland State University (OR) will institute a $5 per term green fee starting this fall. The referendum was passed by 72 percent of voting students this spring, and is expected to generate more than $500,000 in funding for green projects. The allocated funds will subsidize a $10-$15 transit pass for students, create a student-run special sustainability projects fund to support small student-led sustainable projects, and establish a green revolving loan fund to finance energy and water conservation projects.

Princeton Review Releases Green Ratings, Honor Roll

The Princeton Review has released its second annual "Green Rating" of colleges, a measure of how environmentally friendly the institutions that filled out its survey. The company tallied its Green Ratings for 697 institutions based on data it collected from the colleges in 2008-09 concerning their environmentally related policies, practices, and academic offerings. The ratings are reported in some college profiles on the Princeton Review website and in its college guides. The Princeton Review also named 15 colleges to its "2010 Green Rating Honor Roll," a list that salutes the institutions that received the highest possible score – 99 – in this year's rating tallies. Institutions listed on the Honor Roll include: Arizona State University, Bates College (ME), Binghamton University (NY), College of the Atlantic (ME), Colorado College, Dickinson College (PA), Evergreen State College (WA), Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard College (MA), Middlebury College (VT), Northeastern University (MA), University of California, Berkeley, University of New Hampshire, University of Washington, and Yale University (CT).

Greentree Gazette Issue Focuses on Campus Sustainability

The Greentree Gazette has published an issue that contains two feature stories on campus sustainability. The articles include, "Sustainability 2.0: The game every campus can play" and "STARS is the new game in town."

Lethbridge College to Start Demonstration Garden, Recycling Prgm

A Lethbridge College (AB) student group has received a $7,000 grant to build a xeriscaping demonstration garden and a $5,000 grant to start a recycling program in college residences. Eco-Collective members will help design the garden, which is called the Cousins Outdoor Living Theatre, and will gather the drought-tolerant native prairie plants, including grasses, shrubs, and trees. The recycling grant will be used to purchase containers for collecting cardboard, glass, cans, plastic, and paper for two residence halls on campus.

Obama Proposes Plan for Green Job Education

President Barak Obama has unveiled a $12 billion plan to help community colleges prepare students for a new generation of jobs. The "American Graduation Initiative" would offer grants to two-year community colleges that plan to try new programs in areas such as the clean energy industry.

Presidents Urge Senators to Fund Training for Green Jobs

More than 100 college and university presidents have signed and submitted a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Senator James Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, "to recognize the vital role of education, at all levels, in preparing the American people to participate fully in a clean energy economy." The letter asked the public officials "to dedicate in the Senate climate bill at least one percent of the proceeds of emissions allowances for a range of educational activities.

Dept of Education Announces Student Loan Reduction Plan

The New York Times has published an article on the Department of Education's new student loan repayment plan that allows borrowers to reduce their monthly payments based on their income. The 'income-based repayment' program limits what borrowers have to pay to 15 percent of the difference between their gross income and 150 percent of the federal poverty line. After 25 years of continuous payments, the remaining balance will be forgiven. To participate, borrowers have to move their loans into the federal Direct Loan program. Loan forgiveness is only available to those with loans that are not through banks or other loan companies.

Dickinson College Announces Public Service Fellowship

Dickinson College (PA) has announced its new Public Service Fellowship, a program that provides up to $40,000 in tuition credits in exchange for public service. Students can apply for admission into the Fellowship in their senior year of high school. If accepted, students may defer enrollment at Dickinson for one, two, three, or four years to engage in meaningful public service devoted to improving the human condition and/or the natural environment. Participants will receive a $10,000 tuition credit for each year of public service during this period. Upon matriculation at Dickinson, Public Service Fellows will receive priority consideration for positions as resident advisors, community advisors, and other opportunities to further reduce tuition and fees and gain additional leadership experience.

NY Times Covers Colleges Cutting Costs w/ Sustainability Initiatives

The New York Times has published an article on the growing number of colleges and universities that are cutting costs by implementing sustainability initiatives on campus. The article mentions the University of Washington; Dickinson College (PA); Bryn Mawr College (PA); the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Oberlin College (OH); Pitzer College (CA); Carleton College (MN); Whittier College (CA); Whitman College (WA); Davidson College (NC); Susquehanna University (PA); Cornell College (IA); Rhodes College (TN); College of Wooster (OH); and Washington & Jefferson College (PA).

Red Rocks CC Receives $850K for Green Curriculum

Red Rocks Community College (CO) has received a grant from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Program in response to a proposal submitted by the college, “Sustaining a Green Collar Workforce: An Interdisciplinary Approach.” The award has been approved as a continuing grant for a period of three years, totaling $850,000. The grant project has two primary objectives: to expand the preparation of the workforce for careers in renewable energy, and to develop sustainability curriculum that will be integrated throughout career and general education courses. RRCC will work closely with multiple industry and education partners that include the Colorado School of Mines, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Jefferson County Schools, Jefferson County Workforce Center, and others to expand industry-aligned curriculum that prepares students for career opportunities in energy and environmental technology.

U New Hampshire Receives New England Env'l Business Council Award

The University of New Hampshire has received the Environmental Merit Award from the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) in recognition of its sustainability leadership and programs. Among other reasons, UNH received the award for its landfill gas-to-energy project that was launched in May 2009 that uses purified methane gas from a nearby landfill as the campus's main energy source. Each year in June, the EBC recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals for outstanding accomplishments in the promotion of a sustainable, clean environment. Its annual awards were created to encourage environmental companies, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and environmental professionals to serve as models for others to emulate.

HBCUs Partner to Increase African American MBA Students

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and deans of the 36 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) business schools have agreed to partner to better prepare African American students for both the GMAT exam and success in graduate management education. Currently, the mean score for African Americans is 100 points below the mean score for all test takers, and the new initiatives aim to eliminate the difference. As part of this partnership, GMAC pledged fee waivers for each of the HBCU business schools to use at its discretion to make sure that no student is denied access to the exam for financial reasons. In addition, GMAC gave each dean packages of test preparation materials, including copies of the new 12th edition Official GMAT Guide and GMAT Prep CDs.

Campuses Offer More Family-Friendly Policies

The University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women has conducted a survey and issued a report examining the prevalence of family-friendly policies offered to higher education faculty and inquiring about the administration of those policies. Based on the comparison of the 2002 survey and the 2007 survey, which was completed by more than 500 four-year colleges, the Center found that the average number of family friendly policies per institution has increased in the past five years; however, many institutions still do not offer a range of flexible work policies. The survey results also showed that 44 percent of colleges and universities offer unpaid leave in excess of the 12 weeks required by the federal Family and Medical Leave act, up from 40 percent in 2002. However, the survey also found that nearly one in ten of the respondents from all types of schools said there was no policy or accepted practice at their institutions regarding time off for pregnancy/childbirth for biological mothers.

Second Nature Announces Green Building Fellowship Grants

Second Nature has awarded 15 Kresge Fellowship Awards to advance campus green building at under-resourced institutions. Funding for these fellowships was provided by the Kresge Foundation, as part of a grant to Second Nature’s Advancing Green Building in Higher Education initiative. The fellowship provides a senior member of the college/university community with education on green building and sustainability in higher education as well as peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Fellowship selection was based on a committee’s assessment of the institutions’ level of need, statement of interest, and campus sustainability capacity. Winners include California State University, Bakersfield, College of Menominee Nation (WI), Houston Community College (TX), Kennebec Valley Community College (ME), Little Big Horn College (MT), Northeast Texas Community College, Onondaga Community College (NY), South Texas College, Tennessee State University, Texas Southern University, United Tribes Technical College (ND), Urbana University (OH), Western Technical College (WI), and Zane State College (OH).

U Winnipeg Receives $18M Grant for Env'l Research Complex

The University of Winnipeg (MB) has received an $18,042,000 infrastructure grant from the Government of Canada to construct the Science Complex and Richardson College for the Environment. The Complex, which will seek LEED Silver certification, will engage students and faculty in research and development related to the North, urban ecology, water stewardship, green chemistry, and indigenous science. The expected completion date is March 2011.

Drexel U Announces Public Service Fellowships

Drexel University (PA) has announced the establishment of the Constantine Papadakis Public Service Fellowships, an academic tuition award available for any public service worker who enrolls in any of the 11 programs being offered at the University's Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, CA. The Fellowships will reduce tuition by 15 percent for any individual working at least 20 hours per week in a qualified public service job, including a not-for-profit organization, any governmental or quasi-governmental agency, or any other public service employer.

Florida Legislators Deny Student Green Fee

Florida state legislators did not pass a proposal to allow public colleges and universities in Florida to institute green fees for on-campus renewable energy projects. Such fees had been approved in student referendums at several of Florida's public institutions. Students plan to continue the campaign through next year's legislative session.

Wayne County CCD Announces Green Efforts as Part of Budget Strategy

Wayne County Community College District (MI) has announced that it will, among other strategies, reduce energy costs through environmental sustainability initiatives in an effort to decrease spending in the 2009 fiscal year budget. The District decided to implement the fiscal strategies due to a decrease in revenue from local property taxes and state aid. WCCCD has also announced plans to launch the "Workforce Education and Green Careers Initiative" through which the Eastern Campus will become a model green campus. The District's new workforce education model will also include an "Open Door Equity Initiative" designed to assure that those individuals who experience barriers to career and academic success due to low income and limited literacy skills will have access to support services such as career counseling, financial aid, and literacy, and basic job skills education.

U Buffalo to Support Local Clean Energy Companies

The University at Buffalo has received a $1.5 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to establish a clean energy business incubator program that will provide business support to accelerate the successful development of early-stage, clean energy technology companies in Western New York. UB's program, Directed Energy, is designed to utilize the technical expertise of scientists and engineers at the University with the business development skills of the University's Technology Incubator in order to foster clean energy companies and job growth in Western New York. The Directed Energy program also will develop curricula to better prepare university students for the green economy and to help companies provide quality continuing education to employees. Alfred University is a partner of the program.

Arizona State U Expands Student Financial Aid

Arizona State University has established the Barack Obama Scholars Program to help students from low-income families afford tuition. The program, an expansion of an already existing program, will provide funding for direct costs to all academically qualified Arizona freshmen from families that earn less than $60,000 per year. It more than doubles qualifying family income from $25,000 to $60,000 and more than triples the number of scholars from 500 first-year students this year to more than 1,600 students entering ASU in fall 2009.

New York Times Covers Campus Green Fees

The New York Times has published a blog post on the increasing number of colleges and universities that are implementing student-imposed green fees. The article mentions current or upcoming fees at Northland College (WI), Portland State University (OR), and Texas A&M, as well as green fee initiatives within the state legislature in Texas and Florida.

Southern Illinois U Approves Green Fee

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees has approved a new green fee for the campus. The $10 per semester fee will provide funding for university efforts to conserve energy and explore further sustainability projects.

George Washington U Requires All New Food Service Hires Be Unionized

George Washington University (DC) has signed a contract with Sodexo that prohibits the food service provider from leasing space to subcontracted vendors that do not have to employ unionized workers. The new contract will affect 35 employees.

Jesuit Colleges Newsletter & Magazine Feature Campus Sustainability

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and University featured sustainability as the major theme of its April 2009 newsletter, "Connections." In addition, Company Magazine , a magazine for Jesuits, featured campus sustainability in its Winter edition. The section, "Green Times," includes articles on sustainability projects at Saint Joseph's University (PA); Seattle University (WA); Santa Clara University (CA); Loyola University, Chicago (IL); Fordham University (NY); Xavier University (OH); Fairfield University (CT); Rockhurst University (MO); and John Carroll University (OH).

Northland College Students Vote to Double Green Fee

The student body at Northland College (WI) has voted to double its Renewable Energy Fund fee to $40 each semester. The funds are collected by the Northland College Student Association (NCSA) for sustainability projects of the students' choice.

Sustainability, Env'l Justice Major Topics of SCU Inauguration Speech

Santa Clara University (CA) has inaugurated its twenty-eighth president, Michael E. Engh. In his inauguration speech, Engh issued a proposal for Santa Clara to become a leading center for "just sustainability," to ensure that socially and economically marginalized people are no longer harmed in the effort to conserve resources. He also spoke of protecting the environment and listening to and protecting the poor, and educating students to do both.

Brown U Ends Observance of Columbus Day

The faculty at Brown University (RI) has voted to eliminate observance of the Columbus Day holiday from the University's academic calendar and to designate the second Monday of October as Fall Weekend holiday. The decision was made due to concerns about Christopher Columbus' treatment of Native Americans.

Christian Science Monitor Covers CCs Offering Discounts to Laid-off

The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on the increasing number of community colleges that are offering free or reduced tuition rates to locals who have lost their jobs, and the financial difficulties some colleges are facing as a result of the program. The article mentions Oakton Community College (IL), Foothill De-Anza Community College District (CA), Bellevue Community College (WA), and Bucks County Community College (PA).

College of William & Mary Awards Student Sustainability Grants

The College of William & Mary's (VA) Committee on Sustainability has awarded four Student Summer Research Grants for projects that will focus on areas such as campus recycling, GIS mapping of campus habitat and ecosystems, and a new program to increase the College's use of locally grown and sustainable food. Each grant provides a $3,500 summer stipend, up to $1,500 for research expenses and housing if required. The grants are funded through the College's student green fee.

Maine CC System to Offer Free Tuition to Some Students

The Maine Community College System has announced that it will offer free tuition to some current community college students of parents who have lost their jobs. Any dependent student enrolled in the Maine Community College System for the upcoming fall semester will be eligible.

Sustainable Industries Publishes Interviews on Campus Sustainability

Sustainable Industries has published interviews with Wim Wiewel, President of Portland State University (OR); Dan Poston, Assistant Dean for the Masters Program at the University of Washington's Michael G. Foster School of Business; and Nancy Hayes, Dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University (CA). President Wiewel discusses PSU's sustainability plans and current projects, what PSU is looking for in a Director of the Sustainability Institute position, and the challenges and opportunities PSU is facing the current economic times. Poston speaks about why UW offers an Environmental Management Certificate instead of a Sustainability MBA and the opportunities an urban environment can offer MBA students with an interest in sustainability. Hayes discusses the University's decision to launch an MBA in Sustainable Business and her prediction for the future of business education as it relates to sustainability.

Western Kentucky U Announces Sustainability Grants

Western Kentucky University has announced the winners of its student contest for the best ideas for greening WKU. Winning proposals include a project to replace diesel shuttle buses with electric buses and to recharge them at solar power stations; to create a 5-acre algae farm for biodiesel production; to install a dormitory electricity usage monitoring system; and to save energy through temperature settings in dormitory water heaters. The Innovation in Sustainability fund, which sponsored the contest, is an endowment designed to fund WKU student projects that improve sustainability, reduce energy consumption, create renewable sources of energy, foster environmental stewardship, increase recycling, or further the education of students in one of these areas.

British Columbia Gov't Passes GHG Reduction Targets Act

British Columbia's provincial government has passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, Bill 44, establishing a target for all public-sector organizations, including public colleges and universities, to be net carbon-neutral by 2010. Campuses and others must also achieve specific emission-reduction targets, including reducing total emissions by 33 percent from 2007 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. To meet this goal, Simon Frasier University plans to reduce its emissions as much as possible and then purchase carbon offsets for all remaining emissions.

Chill Out Winners Announced

The National Wildlife Federation has announced the eight winners of its annual competition, Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming . The Chill Out competition seeks to honor and promote U.S campuses that are advancing creative solutions to global warming. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy was the Grand Prize Winner. Other winners include the Chancellor's Office of the California State University system, California State University, Northridge, Humboldt State University (CA), Middlebury College (VT), Oberlin College (OH), Longwood University (VA), and the University of California, San Diego. The winners were announced during a live webcast

William Penn U Receives $340K Rebate for Energy Conservation

William Penn University (IA) has received $340,700 in energy conservation incentives from MidAmerican Energy. The University received the rebates for installing geothermal heating and cooling systems and energy efficient lighting packages with control system in two recent construction projects on campus.

66% of High Schoolers Value Info on Colleges' Env'l Commitment

The Princeton Review 2009 "College Hopes and Worries Survey" has found that 66 percent, up 3 percent from 2008, of respondents would value the ability to compare college and universities based on their commitment to environmental issues. Nearly a quarter said this information would very much or strongly affect their college decision. The survey interviewed 12,715 high school students applying to college and 3,007 parents of college applicants.

U Georgia Students Approve Sustainability Fee

University of Georgia students have approved a referendum to charge students a mandatory $3 fee for the Office of Sustainability. The referendum passed with 4,698 out of 5,833 votes (81%). If the fee is approved by the Mandatory Fees Committee, the President, and the Board of Regents, it could go into effect as early as the fall of 2010.

Kentucky CCs Offer Tuition Discounts to Unemployed Workers

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System and Governor Steve Beshear have announced the KCTCS Career Transitions program, an initiative through which recently unemployed workers can receive a 50 percent discount on tuition for up to 6 credit hours per term. The program also offers personalized assistance in navigating the college admissions process. The year-long initiative is offered at 16 community colleges across the state. Kentucky residents who have become unemployed and have filed for unemployment benefits since Oct. 1, 2008 are eligible for the program.

Six Campuses Receive Recognition for Community Service

Six colleges and universities have received presidential recognition for extraordinary contributions to service in their communities in the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. California State University, Fresno, Emory University (GA), and Michigan State University received Presidential Awards for General Community Service. Brookhaven College (TX), Duke University (NC), and the University of Missouri-Kansas City were recognized for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances, a special focus area of this year's Honor Roll competition. In all, 635 schools were listed on the Honor Roll for their community service activities during the 2007-2008 academic year. Over 80 institutions also received Honor Roll with Distinction.

Amherst College Students Donate $70K to Budget Woes

Students at Amherst College (MA) have voted to donate $70,000 to help the college deal with its budget shortfalls. $50,000 will go towards financial aid, and $20,000 will go towards maintaining staff pay for Amherst's lowest-paid employees. The $70,000 gift will come from a reserve fund of unspent money generated by student activity fees from previous years.

Marietta College Offers Honors Institute with Green Energy Track

Marietta College (OH) has announced that it will offer a Summer Honors Institute for gifted high school students in which one of the topics of study will be green energy. The energy section of the course will explore the sources of energy, the energy content of food and fuels, a cost and benefit analysis of fuels, and traditional sources of energy. Students will also complete a comparison of the viability of solar energy to chemical energy for automotive use.