Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.74
Liaison Kristyn Achilich
Submission Date May 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Saint Michael's College
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Karen Talentino
Professor of Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

Saint Michael’s College offers opportunities for students to conduct independent or faculty-related research both during the academic year and during the summer. Our highly competitive summer undergraduate research program, funded by the Board of Trustees and several endowments, is open to all areas of research, but inevitably there is at least one (usually more) project on sustainability, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In the past few years, in particular, there are nearly always projects (perhaps 10%) that take place in our Natural Area or on the SMC Farm, and are related to sustainability topics. Students receive a research stipend if their proposal is accepted. There are a number of courses offered during the fall and spring semesters and summer session where sustainability themes are discussed and researched by students. Additionally, both departments and individual faculty can hire students as employees to work on research in any discipline.

Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

Saint Michael’s College has a faculty development program that funds faculty (up to $1500/year) from multiple disciplines or programs to conduct research on a variety of topics, including possibly sustainability. While there are no specific incentives provided to incentivize sustainability research, the incentive is to encourage ALL types of research. In the past three years, approximately 10% of the awards supported sustainability-related research (as related to the UN Sustainability Development Goals).

Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

We have a fairly traditional tenure and promotion process, based on an evaluation of teaching, scholarship and service. With regards to scholarship, faculty work and publications are reviewed by external reviewers as well as by a faculty committee and the administration. All departments at Saint Michael’s College have adopted their own scholarship guidelines, and certainly interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship are considered as types of accepted and appropriate scholarship supported by departments.

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

The Durick library staff is very responsive to supporting staff and faculty interests and more often than not has granted the growing requests for sustainability-related teaching and research materials. Faculty/staff and students have access to sustainability-oriented databases, journals, etc. through our various library research platforms. In addition, students and faculty can make "research appointments" with reference librarians if they need assistance with any aspect of their research and scholarship.

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Given our small size and limited resources, it isn't feasible to provide funding support to faculty and students for a focused area of study, such as sustainability. Our goal is to support a wide range of research, and to encourage study of many disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary topics.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.