Skip to Page Content


Faculty Assembly

Campus Sustainability Committee      

Report to Faculty Assembly

September 9, 2004





Recent activities of the Committee


  1. Submitted recommendations for moving the campus toward sustainability in both operations and in the curriculum as part of the Inventing Our Future initiative.  Document available upon request.
  2. Supported Facilities in creation of new position of Sustainability Officer (ad in current issue of the Silver & Gold.)
  3. Participated in sustainability programs with Fort Carson.
  4. Provided research to Public Safety RE hybrid vehicles to aid in the recent decision to purchase a hybrid vehicle for the campus fleet.
  5. At the request of Faculty Executive Committee, presented a session on sustainability at the fall Faculty Retreat at the Penrose House.
  6. Enlisted support of faculty and departments in creation of a minor in Sustainable Development which will be presented to the LAS faculty at their October meeting.  Minor, built with existing courses, will require no new faculty or administrators.
  7. Continue to work with the student group, SEAS (Students for Environmental   

Awareness and Sustainability) in addressing sustainability issues.  Committee member, Carole Huber is faculty advisor to this group.

  1. In response to a recent request from President Durham, we are developing strategies to address the goal of reducing campus energy/fuel use by 20%.
    1. Requested that Public Safety add info RE alternative transportation options (SpringsTransit, FrEx, light rail, Denver RTD, RideFinders) to their  website.  NOTE that Public Safety responded immediately and this info is now available.
    2. Requested that Media Services send an all campus e-mail reminding folks of the videoconferencing options which should save both fuel and time.
    3. Requested assistance from marketing Professor Lex Higgins to promote energy/fuel saving measures.  Received affirmative response from Professor Higgins.
    4. Seeking ways to publicize positive efforts of folks in meeting this goal as, for example, the many Geography faculty and students who regularly bike to campus.


NOTE:  We welcome suggestions and new members.


Judith Rice-Jones ( for the Campus Sustainability Committe

Sustainability Goals for UCCS

Presented to Chancellor Shockley
 and the Executive Team

June 6, 2005


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,


NOTE:  Areas of Priority for Sustainability Goals & Objectives

        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.

I. Leadership

        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

II.  Operations/Facilities

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.


Human Resources

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

Natural Resources

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

Student Support

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


Minor Degree Program

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)

Freshman Seminar

Develop a new Freshman Seminar section focused on sustainability.

Interdisciplinary Course

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

Graduate Programs

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.


Academic Requirements


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

and Conservation






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

                                Sustainable Development