Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.74
Liaison Carrie Metzgar
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, San Diego
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Michelle Perez
Energy and Sustainability Manager
Utilities and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

The UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) continues to support faculty development of research, scalable solutions, and curriculum development. Since the launch of CNI in 2013, UC has provided funding, resources, and partnerships that have provided the opportunity and expansion of climate education. Building on UC's pioneering work on climate research and furthering its leadership on sustainable business practices, CNI was an ambitious announcement; no other major university system had made a similar commitment. In 2015, the UC Climate Solutions Group — composed of 50 top experts from all 10 UC campuses and the associated national laboratories — released “Bending the Curve,” a report that outlined 10 scalable solutions for moving the world towards carbon neutrality, a practical framework outlining immediate and long-term actions for staving off catastrophic climate change. In 2018, “Bending the Curve” inspired a 2018 undergraduate course at UC San Diego, which then became the catalyst for the multi-campus, interdisciplinary Bending the Curve Education Protocol.

Twenty-five UC faculty members partnered with UC’s Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) to create the Bending the Curve Education Protocol with funding from UC and the Gates Foundation. Today, it has four components: The first is a hybrid online/in-person course, which is now taught at all UC campuses and is licensed to five other universities, including Stockholm University and National Taiwan University. Next is a solely online UC course, which allows an instructor on one UC campus to instruct students at any of the university’s undergraduate campuses. Third is an open-source Bending the Curve textbook — authored by the lecturers of the course, published by the University of California Press and funded by the Gates Foundation — which is available for download through the California Digital Library. And fourth is the massive open online course (MOOC), which was launched in late May by UC San Diego Extension in partnership with UC San Diego Digital Learning and UCOP’s ILTI.

At UC San Diego, the VC for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the VC for Research have also supported teaching faculty with funding to further expand this effort and possibly create not only new courses but also a new undergraduate climate minor, along other efforts.

In 2016 every UC, including UC San Diego, also have its first Faculty Climate Champion. Any faculty member could apply. Champions from each campus were invited to attend the University of California Summit on Pathways to Carbon and Climate Neutrality: California and the World and shared the engagement work they did on and off campus around their climate-related teaching and/or research with participants at the UC Carbon Slam student competition (sending their own student teams) and the CA Higher Education and Sustainability Conference. Each Faculty Champion received statewide recognition and $5,000 for their climate action‐related work: http://climatechampions.ucop.edu/

UC San Diego also has faculty incentives to develop courses focused on diversity and inclusion. In 2015, the Executive Vice Chancellor implemented an Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award that all faculty who teach a course fulfilling the DEI requirement are eligible to receive. This information, along with the list of courses already approved, is available at the Academic Affairs website.

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

Funding for research, professional development, resources for teaching, curriculum development, etc.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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