Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Columbia University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Alison Miller
Deputy Executive Director
Earth Institute
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Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
Yes

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

The University offers various types of incentives to develop new courses. In certain programs, instructors are paid a financial incentive to develop new courses ($5,000 for the M.S. in Sustainability Management). In other cases, the faculty is encouraged to develop new courses as part of their responsibilities with the Earth Institute (as opposed to their "home" department). These courses are offered through Earth Institute programs and are typically open to multiple education programs. In other cases, research scientists may develop and teach new courses, which provides base salary support for their positions, reducing the amount they must raise through grants. This also attracts scientists who might not otherwise teach.
The Earth Institute leads much of this activity. The Earth Institute is a centrally administered (University-wide) research & education organization that represents a unique model for academia. The faculty is associated with both the Earth Institute and another school or department at the University (e.g., the School of International and Public Affairs, the Engineering School, etc.). Because of this unique model, the faculty is encouraged to develop courses for interdisciplinary programs. For example, Columbia launched its Ph.D. in Sustainable Development in 2004, and its M.S. in Sustainability Management and undergraduate Sustainable Development degree programs in the Fall of 2010. The University created enhanced teaching opportunities with 49 new courses to date having been created for these degrees alone. As sustainability degree offerings continue to expand, more faculty are incentivized to participate.


A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

As additional degrees, certificates, and concentrations are added, the faculty is encouraged to design courses to fulfill the changing needs of students. With these new courses, there is additional funding for instructing courses in sustainability and for professional development. The Earth Institute expands research, and educational activities in conjunction with Columbia University schools and departments. The Earth Institute faculty coordinates undergraduate and graduate education programs and oversees the developments of new degree programs.These programs open up opportunities for researchers who don't have faculty lines to gain teaching experiences, which aside from financial incentives, provides crucial professional development. It allows faculty to come together and work in an interdisciplinary way.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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