Federal US Government Directs $3M to HBCUs for Decarbonization Research

The U.S. Department of Energy announced recently that $3 million in federal funding would be directed toward historically Black colleges and universities, and other minority serving institutions, for research dedicated to carbonizing power generation and to help strengthen a pipeline from those schools into energy-related jobs.

Tufts U Establishes Indigenous Center

The university recently selected Vernon Miller as the inaugural director of the new Indigenous Center. Miller, a member of the Thunder Clan from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa, will develop and implement programming and support mechanisms with and for the Tufts’ Indigenous student population.

Catawba College Increases Minimum Wage

In an ongoing effort to promote a thriving workplace, the college raised the minimum wage in early March to $15 an hour for all college non-student staff. This is the second increase to the college’s minimum wage in the last six months.

U Pittsburgh Introduces Social Justice Faculty Fellowship

The Office of Health Sciences, Diversity and Inclusion recently established a social justice faculty fellowship program that aims to raise awareness among faculty about health inequities in the local community. The program, funded by campus-community partnerships, was developed to address Pitt students’ calls to action on social justice and systemic racism.

U Southern California Opens Three New Sustainability Research Centers

The new research centers, which are housed within the university's Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, are focused on Earth and Environmental Systems, Applied Environmental Solutions, and Social Transformation. The three centers will merge the interdisciplinary expertise of the institute’s affiliated faculty, full-time senior scientists, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students to better understand and help to solve environmental and sustainability challenges.

U Virginia Aligns Building Standards With Carbon Neutrality Goals

The University of Virginia recently updated its building standards required for all future construction projects to further the institution’s progress in meeting its goals to be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil-fuel free by 2050. Starting this year, new buildings are restricted from adding infrastructure for the on-site combustion of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, for heating or other uses, unless required for safety or emergency back-up systems.

Ball State U Collaborates on Living Building Certification for Cope Environmental Center

The Cope Environmental Center recently earned the Living Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute for achieving high standards in the categories of place, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.

Georgetown U Opens Environment & Sustainability Institute

The Earth Commons, Georgetown’s new Institute for Environment & Sustainability, is building new educational programming for undergraduate and graduate students, expanding research opportunities for faculty members and students, and developing scalable solutions for a sustainable campus and planet. The institute will be composed of multiple focal areas that will each focus on a major environmental issue, including environmental justice, climate change and energy transitions, environmental health, food and water security and biodiversity conservation.

U Ottawa to Divest From Fossil Fuels

The university recently announced that it will divest all its direct equity fossil fuel holdings by 2023 and all indirect holdings by 2030. The university also announced plans to set a 10 percent target of its overall long-term portfolio to be committed to sustainable investments by the end of 2025.