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

STARS v2.2

University of Cincinnati
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Erin LeFever
Asst Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students and employees) directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

In 2016, the Office of Sustainability collected examples of survey instruments being used by other schools to assess both environmental literacy and the experiences of campus culture as it relates to sustainability. These include Ohio State and the University of Maryland, with their ASK instrument; the annual survey American University conducts, and others. These instruments were adapted by the Office of Sustainability in cooperation with Institutional Research, and were administered in 2016. In order to continue to measure and gauge both sustainability literacy and to assess sustainability culture on campus, the Office of Sustainability administered a slightly-updated version of the campus-wide sustainability survey again in the fall of 2019. The survey was developed using Qualtrics and was sent out via email.


A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:
A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

In order to measure and gauge sustainability literacy and to assess sustainability culture related to how UC performs with sustainability, the University conducts longitudinal sustainability surveys. The most recent survey was administered in the fall of 2019 and was disseminated to all full time faculty, staff, and students on the Uptown campus. The Office of Sustainability worked with the University’s departments of Institutional Research and Communications to best determine the most effective way to share the survey, which ended up being creating a unique listserv group that included all full time students, staff, and faculty on the Uptown campus. The survey was disseminated to 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and 8,700 faculty and staff between 10/10/2019 - 10/21/2019.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

In order to measure and gauge literacy and to assess sustainability culture related to how UC performs with sustainability, the University conducts longitudinal sustainability surveys. The most recent survey was administered in the fall of 2019 and was disseminated to all full time faculty, staff, and students on the Uptown campus. The Office of Sustainability worked with the University’s departments of Institutional Research and Communications to best determine the most effective way to share the survey, which ended up being creating a unique listserv group that included all full time students, staff, and faculty on the Uptown campus. The survey was disseminated to 26,000 students, and 8,700 faculty and staff. Prior to this most recent survey, the last survey was conducted in 2017.
UC’s first survey was conducted in 2017 and had only 155 responses. This did not seem like the accurate representation of the student body as the Office of Sustainability had hoped and therefore the Office of Sustainability was more thoughtful in the decimating of the second survey in 2019 which resulted in 1,533 responses. The surveys were both assessing environmental literacy and campus culture. The percentage of correct answers for the environmental literacy questions each went down a couple of points from 2017 to 2019. For example, one questions asked “Which of the following is a greenhouse gas?” Carbon dioxide was the correct answer and in 2017, 96.13% of the responses were correct and in 2019 only 94.76% of the responses were correct. This could be because of the larger number of responses. Campus culture stayed relatively the same between the two surveys. For example, the top answer to the question “How would you rate your feelings about environmental issues and sustainability?” stayed the same as “They are critical issues that we must face”. The only question that received differing responses was “What is your main mode of transportation to campus?” In 2017 the highest response was ‘walk’, while in 2019 the highest response was ‘drive your care alone’. Again, this could be attributed to the survey responses. Mostly students walk to campus while more faculty and staff drive, so it may be that more students took the survey in 2017 than in 2019.


Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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