Magazine article University Business

Sustainability Big on Campus but Not in Classroom

Magazine article University Business

Sustainability Big on Campus but Not in Classroom

Article excerpt

OF THE MANY SURVEYS THAT TRACK GREEN CAMPUS EFFORTS, THE National WiLdLife Federation's Campus Environment Report Card is the largest. More than one-quarter of all U.S. higher ed institutions, 1,068 of them, participated in the 2008 survey. Although there are some positive trends involving energy conservation, curriculum continues to lag behind Leadership and operations when it comes to a focus on sustainability.

Sustainability-related education offerings and recruitment programs, as well as faculty research, declined between 2001, when NWF's original survey was conducted, and 2008. Just over half of the IHEs surveyed now offer an undergraduate major or minor in environmental and sustainability studies, down from two-thirds in 2001. The biggest obstacle to expanding this programming? Money. (It was "other priorities" in 2001.)

Is adding sustainability-focused courses the solution? Not quite, says NWF Campus Ecology Director Julian Keniry. "Personally, I think it would be important for sustainability to be integrated across the campus, rather than [in] an isolated class." She adds that faculty development could encourage more related crass discussions. One institution making great strides in sustainability curriculum is Georgia Tech, which aims to ensure graduates are literate on sustainability issues. …

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