Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.77
Liaison Andrew Porter
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Cincinnati
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Daniel Hart
Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

UC's new annual Sustainability Awards program offers students who conduct exemplary sustainability research the opportunity to win an award from the UC Sustainability Office, thereby providing significant recognition and visibility for such efforts and incentivizing them to conduct more, and better, sustainability research. See the uploaded description of the new Sustainability Awards program in the "additional documentation" section below.

In addition, sustainability is included as an operational principle in the UC 2019 strategic plan and academic master plan. Incentives are in place to encourage colleges and units to help achieve the UC 2019 targets, including increasing student research at all levels. In addition, UC's Undergraduate Research Conference is THE venue for students of all disciplines to present their creative and scholarly works. All projects are evaluated and considered for competition. The three most highly rated projects within each Scholarly Theme will receive certificate awards. Themes include the following, nearly all of which have sustainability elements:
Behavior & Other Patterns of Being
Diversity Matters
Food, Water, Energy
Games & Competition
Health & Body
Motor and Sensory Systems
Security
Space and Time


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

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

UC's new annual Sustainability Awards program offers faculty who conduct exemplary sustainability research the opportunity to win an award from the UC Sustainability Offcie, thereby providing significant recognition and visibility for such efforts and incentivizing them to conduct more, and better, sustainability research. See the uploaded description of the new Sustainability Awards program in the "additional documentation" section below.

Sustainability is included as an operational principle in the UC 2019 strategic plan and academic master plan. Incentives, such as priority funding, are in place to encourage colleges and units to help achieve the UC 2019 targets, including entrepreneurial research in sustainability. In 2013, under the new leadership of President Santa Ono, the University of Cincinnati undertook an extensive yearlong process of creating a strategic research plan conducted by the Office of Research through the direction of Vice President Ball. This process was designed along three primary pathways: Pathway A – Research in Health, the Sciences and Engineering (Traditionally Sponsored Research Efforts); Pathway B – Research/Scholarship in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and Pathway C – Industry Partnerships, Commercialization, Workforce Development, and the role of the University in Community economic development. The AHSS Research Advisory Board and Dr. Ball were successful in securing internal resources to be re-invested in UC faculty whose research interests lie in the branches of knowledge and science that investigate human expression and the pursuit of ideas, memory, imagination, and culture, as well as the empirical disciplines of behavioral, interpersonal, and organizational processes.


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?:
Yes

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
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The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

Examples abound across each of UC's colleges (and are specific to each college and/or department, since, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement that applies to UC faculty, "criteria and procedures [for promotion and tenure decisions] are developed at the unit level and are subject to approval of the dean and provost.") For example, in the criteria for Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure adopted in 2019 by the College of Engineering and Applied Science, "quality" of research--as determined by six factors including "Establishment of successful research collaborations, particularly those with researchers from other disciplines, departments, colleges, and/or institutions..."--is noted as a primary component of promotion and tenure decisions.. Another example is in the Anthropology Department; the "Criteria for Research" section of their "Criteria and Procedures for Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT)" approved on December 6, 2018, states "We value equally traditional research and that which is applied, engaged, interdisciplinary, translational, community-partnered, and/or public."

In addition, the Collective Bargaining Agreement by which UC faculty are protected has sections explicitly designed to ensure appropriate promotion and tenure criteria are in place for faculty to have joint appointments. See sections 6.2.4 and 6.2.7. ^.2.7 reads: "No Academic Unit shall hire a new Faculty Member into a position for which the Academic Unit’s RPT Criteria fail to provide criteria for promotion and/or tenure. This is particularly applicable to joint appointments (where the criteria must take into account the multi-disciplinary nature of the joint appointee’s work) and to appointments without tenure at the ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Librarian, and Associate Senior Librarian.


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

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

The library has web-based "research guide" for Sustainability that enables students and faculty to find relevant sustainability resources. These include search keywords, links to relevant books and journals, UC research, and professional organizations.

The library has web-based "research guide" for Sustainability that enables students and faculty to find relevant sustainability resources. These include search keywords, links to relevant books and journals, UC research, and professional organizations.

In addition, funding is available for the development and provision of library resources to support multi-disciplinary research for the College of Medicine: "The College of Medicine-Health Sciences Library Grant Program RFA to be released: April 28, 2017; The CoM-HSL Grant Program has been established to facilitate research collaborations between CoM full-time faculty and the Health Sciences Library (HSL) faculty and staff. The program seeks to enhance collaborative, multi-disciplinary basic and clinical research by integrating an information specialist (informationist) and/or librarian into the research team to enhance research success. As well as directly impacting a research project, this Program is designed to help CoM faculty take advantage of new capacities in the HSL that can enhance study design, data collection, and data presentation.


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

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.