We are in an era requiring leadership and innovative approaches to prepare our graduates for a rapidly changing global environment. UCCS seeks to play a pivotal role in creating a culture of sustainability, providing both the knowledge and practices that students can carry with them into their lives after college.
Sustainability at UCCS started as a grass roots effort by a group of dedicated and passionate students, faculty, and staff. These individuals advocated for the university to provide leadership, academic instruction, and a built environment to prepare our future leaders to approach the sustainability challenges the world currently faces.
The creation of the 2007 Sustainability Strategic Plan was the first step in our commitment to campus-wide sustainability. This plan laid out 5-year goals and actions for the campus in the areas of leadership, education, and operations. Sustainability was subsequently adopted as a formal goal for the university. To highlight a few sustainability successes to date:
• Faculty created an innovative minor in Sustainable Development program that includes coursework in multiple departments and across colleges.
• UCCS became the leading institution in sustainable building in the region with four Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects completed or in progress.
• The new Recreation Center includes a solar thermal system for the swimming pool.
• Students embraced sustainable energy by overwhelmingly supporting a fee for the installation of photovoltaic panels on campus buildings.
• UCCS implemented a comprehensive recycling program. In 2008, UCCS achieved a 26% recycling rate in its first-time participation in RecycleMania, a nationwide competition.
I signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on behalf of faculty, staff, and students. At UCCS we are working to reduce our carbon emissions and incorporating sustainability into the curriculum to increase the ecological literacy of our graduates. We are committed to a sustainability vision that builds on our early successes and utilizes all of our talents to create a legacy for future generations.