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Campus Sustainability Committee
Report to Faculty Assembly
September 9, 2004
Recent activities of the Committee
Awareness and Sustainability) in addressing sustainability issues. Committee member, Carole Huber is faculty advisor to this group.
NOTE: We welcome suggestions and new members.
Judith Rice-Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the Campus Sustainability Committe
Sustainability Goals for UCCS
Developed by the:
Innovating for the Future: Sustainability Task Force*
I. Vision, Mission, & Leadership 2
II. Operations/Facilities 4
III. Education/Curriculum 6
*Members: Judith Rice-Jones, Carole Huber, Daphne Greenwood, Laura Quinn, Julie Armentrout, Jeff Davis, John Milliman, Linda Kogan, Robert Wonnett, Tina Moore, Tom Christensen, Amy Kirlin, Tom Huber, Kathy King, David Schnabel, Curt Holder , Angela Kay Cook, Jacqueline Lorraine Rockwell, Jennifer Brooke Caplinger, Lindsey Raeannen Barnes, Kristin Rice
I. Vision, Mission, & Leadership
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is a recognized leader in sustainability, integrating social, economic and ecological values into institutional policies, programs and practices.
Recognizing that institutions of higher learning have a responsibility to exercise leadership and create the future, UCCS actively pursues sustainability as a way to address the University’s focus on increased student recruitment and retention, effective and efficient resource usage, and fiscal responsibility.
UCCS seeks to be a campus:
· Where committed campus administrators, in partnership with a dedicated faculty, staff, and educated student body, provide leadership and contribute expertise to local, regional, and global environmental efforts, and foster links with other institutions;
· Where we recognize our obligation to educate the university community about the importance of individual and institutional environmental responsibility and prepare our students by integrating sustainability literacy into academic learning and research across the curriculum and between the colleges;
· Where sustainability is integrated into all aspects of university functioning, including buildings, operations, planning, and purchasing, in such a way that we minimize the impact of our growing, dynamic campus upon the earth.
In doing the above, we will foster a culture of sustainability throughout the University’s extended community.
Higher education recognizes the need to reflect the reality that humanity is affecting the environment in ways which are historically unprecedented and which are potentially devastating for natural ecosystems, humans, and all living species. Since universities are an integral part of the global economy/community, we have a fundamental responsibility to teach, train and conduct research for sustainability, a framework addressing environmental, social, and economic factors. We believe the success of higher education will be judged by our ability to put forth a bold agenda, making sustainability and the environment a cornerstone of our academic and administrative practices.
(Rationale adapted from University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, www.ulsf.org)
· Based on importance, the priorities are: 1) Leadership; 2) Curriculum; and 3) Infrastructure/Operations.
· Based on timing (due to current building plans), the priorities are: 1) Leadership; 2) Infrastructure/Operations; and 3) Curriculum.
· Clear statement of commitment from Executive Committee
· Development of UCCS sustainability vision/mission
· Continuous and comprehensive communication about commitment to sustainability (including channels for feedback from UCCS community)
· Commitment of resources (time and money) to sustainability efforts
· Signing of the Talloires Declaration
· Building of a “sustainability identity” for UCCS as part of recruitment and fund-raising
· Developing partnerships with stakeholder organizations to support sustainability efforts
· Fostering a culture of sustainability
o Educating staff and faculty
o Developing incentives/reward structures to support sustainability efforts
o Expressing shared values towards sustainability in multiple ways
Facilities management and operations significantly contribute to the creation of a sustainable university. Leadership towards this goal incorporates sustainability on many levels, including effective selection and utilization of human, economic and natural resources; creation of a land ethic that inspires a sense of place and stewardship; and enhancement of ecological literacy through facilities modeling and curriculum development. Furthermore, research and project collaboration between facilities, faculty, and students promotes sustainability goals on campus while providing leadership for the greater community. Accordingly, the Facilities/Operations subcommittee of the Chancellor’s taskforce on sustainability developed the following areas of emphasis.
Nurture human capital by:
· Ensuring equity
· Embracing diversity – backgrounds, cultures, and opinions
· Hiring a Sustainability Specialist assigned to Facilities Services
· Sustaining our campus community
Tools (including facilities, equipment, materials, and supplies)
Create sustainable campus environments by:
· Considering ecological impacts in planning, design, construction, renovation and maintenance of all university facilities.
· Employing life-cycle-cost analysis techniques in all project work.
· Meeting LEED certification standards for all facilities until a superior campus set of standards is developed
· Meeting EPA Energy Star partnership and the Department of Energy Smart Schools program requirements
· Ensuring decision-making processes are transparent to all on campus
Minimize solid, liquid, and hazardous wastes by:
· Strategic purchasing
· Increased recycling
Protect the campus community by:
· Procuring Green materials and supplies
· Reducing campus community exposure to toxic chemicals
Significantly reducing fossil fuel dependence by:
· Conserving energy
· Using renewable energy
Promoting and using sustainable transportation options by:
· Developing trails and bike path networks
· Encouraging car pools and bus use
Conserving and protecting water resources by:
· Enforcing an effective stormwater management program
· Observing City water conservation regulations
· Maximizing areas of natural vegetation and xeriscaping
Creating a land ethic that promotes stewardship of natural processes, ecosystems, and the conservation of green space by:
· Planning and incorporating Open Space into the UCCS Master Plan
· Educating faculty, staff, and students about ecosystem management
Foster sustainability education to improve retention by:
· Supporting student groups whose objective is to enhance sustainability
· Supporting student projects focusing on actual, real-world campus problems
· Include student groups on campus planning committees (e.g. Master Plan)
Increase ecological literacy in campus community by:
· Supporting sustainability curriculum (guest lectures, sustainability materials)
· Conducting sustainable facilities training for campus community
· Modeling sustainable practices
· Actively participating in the development and implementation of a sustainability centered course curriculum
Explore and discover science and technology that enhance sustainability by:
· Pursuing sustainability focused research grants and donations
· Actively outreaching to the local community where sustainability actions are proactive (e.g. Fort Carson)
· Connecting to local governments and engage where appropriate
· In conjunction with the CU Design Review Board develop UCCS sustainability standards that go beyond LEED while better addressing regional and local environmental conditions
III. Education/Curriculum Goals
Develop a proposal for an undergraduate Minor in Sustainable Development (see attached)
Increase the focus on sustainability in the LAS undergraduate general education requirements (e.g. within the Global Awareness requirement for LAS)
Develop a new Freshman Seminar section focused on sustainability.
Develop interdisciplinary courses (team taught) focused specifically on sustainability
Curriculum Transformation Program
Establish a curriculum transformation program to help faculty integrate sustainability components into their courses (e.g. modeled after the Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies "Transforming the Curriculum" program in which faculty participants, selected based on submitted proposals, attend a summer workshop and collaboratively work on techniques to incorporate women and ethnic topics into their courses).
Colorado Springs Community
Increase educational offerings and community awareness on sustainability to the Colorado Springs community (e.g. such as developing a certificate program on sustainability). Cooperate with local sustainability efforts such as that at Ft. Carson.
Undergraduate Business Program
Increase the focus of sustainability in the undergraduate business program
A. Seek to make the Minor in Sustainable Development available to business majors
B. Increase the focus on sustainability in business courses
Increase the focus on sustainability in graduate programs (e.g. consider developing interdisciplinary masters program with a sustainability area of emphasis).
Encourage and support research in sustainability across all of the colleges.
Proposal for a Minor in Sustainable Development
This proposal seeks to establish an interdisciplinary minor in Sustainable Development. Education for sustainability, most often defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by paying equal attention to issues of environmental impact, social equity, and economic prosperity,” is an imperative for colleges and universities. The United Nations has named 2005-2015 the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Universities as an integral part of the global economy/community, have a fundamental responsibility to teach, train and conduct research for sustainability, a framework addressing environmental, social, and economic factors. The success of higher education in the future will be judged in part by our ability to put forth a bold agenda, making sustainable development a cornerstone of our academic and administrative practices.
The proposed interdisciplinary minor includes courses on sustainability and environmental studies from eleven departments. Experiential, project-based and service learning will be encouraged. Expected outcomes from this initiative include : increased student competencies in dealing with social, environmental, and economic issues; contributions to UCCS and local organizations on environmental issues and projects; and, more responsible, active global citizens.
Students seeking the Minor in Sustainable Development must complete a miniumum of 18 credit hours, 12 of which must be upper divison courses. Coursework must be completed in a minimum of three of the departments in LAS or Business that participate in the program: LAS: Biology/Chemistry, Communication, Economics, Geography and Environmental Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Physics and Energy Sciences, Sociology, and BUSINESS: Organization and Management. Special topic courses, internships, independent studies or other courses offered in these departments that are not listed here that might qualify require the consent of the Director of the Sustainable Development Minor. Courses that the student counts toward his/her major cannot be counted toward this minor.
College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
BIOL 375 Conservation Biology, (cross-listed also as GES 375).
CHEM/BIOL 151 & 153 Lab – Environmental
CHEM 341 Environmental Chemistry (science majors)
COMM 429 Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
ECON 100 The Economics of Social Issues
ECON 330 Environmental Economics
HIST 489 Environmental History: The West and the World
GES 100 Environmental Systems: Climate and Vegetation
GES 210 Humans and Environments
GES 434 Soils
GES 441 Resource Management
GES 475 Recreation, Tourism, and the Environment
PES 150 Introduction to Energy Science
PES 151 Introduction to Energy Science II
PES 250 Energy Fundamentals
PHIL 414 Environmental Philosophy
PSC 429 International Environmental Politics
PSC 435 Environmental Policies and Administration
SOC 222 Communities in a Global Environment
SOC 422 Sustainable Urban Development
SOC 438 Globalization and Development
College of Business
HRMG 485 Directed Research in Human Resources and Management*
*The major project for this course must be on a topic related to