Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.69
Liaison Tess Esposito
Submission Date Feb. 9, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Dayton
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
"---" 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:

The University of Dayton sponsors the annual Stander Symposium recognizing and celebrating academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, including multidisciplinary, sustainability-focused research and student projects. This annual event provides an opportunity for students from all disciplines to showcase their intellectual and artistic accomplishments. This event offers a forum for students to present their work to the university and Dayton communities.

The 2019 Stander Symposium included dozens of papers and presentations on all 17 of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals with research coming from students’ with a variety of majors. One highlight was a partnership of graphic design students crafting supporting signage for UD’s Solar Prairie. The 2020 Symposium and celebration of Earth Day 50 included student research and work on many sustainability themes such as the University of Dayton River Stewards’ 2020 senior capstone project to create a children’s book about the Great Miami Watershed. “Into the River” included drawings, writings and ideas from local children about how they think of the river. Another presentation was about how the Mission of Mary Cooperative became Dayton’s first net-zero energy organization. The 2021 Symposium included in-person and virtual sessions about many sustainability-related topics such as the tie between religion and approaches to climate change, the adaptation of a youth nutrition and cooking-skill program to a virtual, online format and an exploration of living wages in Dayton.

The University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute also supports graduate assistants in sustainability research, offering a stipend and tuition waiver. New in Fall 2021 is the graduate fellowship program as four graduate students will complete mentor-guided research with faculty in a one-on-one setting. HSI also supported undergraduates’ work which has resulted in theses and peer-reviewed publications, engagement programs on campus and in the community, and mentoring for undergraduate students. HSI supported three students doing summer research in 2021. UD plans to launch the Sustainability Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, which will include transdisciplinary work which will enhance undergrad experiences in sustainability and catalyze transdisciplinary research and scholarship.

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:

The Hanley Sustainability Institute counts more than 100 faculty members as Sustainability Scholars who identify themselves that way in their respective research projects. HSI funds a number of graduate fellowships each year (4 in 2021; the first year of this program) who work on sustainability research projects under the mentorship of Sustainability Scholars. Scholars also have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students funded by HSI: three students were supported in the summer of 2021, and seven students will be supported each year as Sustainability Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURFs) starting in spring 2022. These graduate and undergraduate fellowship programs represent incentives for faculty and staff to engage in sustainability-related research.

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:

An updated section of the University of Dayton’s Promotion and Tenure policy to be voted on during the 2021-22 school year by the faculty states: “The university recognizes that faculty may engage in a wide range of activities – outside of “traditional” disciplinary efforts – that further the mission of the university. Achievements in teaching and/or librarianship, scholarship and/or artistic accomplishment, and/or service that include community engagement, incorporate multidisciplinarity, foster innovation, venture creation, and/or other defined academic or professional activities consistent with the positional role and responsibilities of the faculty, and that further the mission and reputation of the University are encouraged and should be given due recognition during the faculty tenure and promotion process and evaluated and credited in the same way as other faculty achievements. Each unit, academic department and/or institute must adopt clear criteria for evaluating these contributions where relevant.”

Prior to the approval of a new Promotion and Tenure policy the University does have a long track record of rewarding the scholarship of faculty members who choose to use interdisciplinary approaches and methods.

From the university’s faculty handbook, p.100, section 1, university commitment to research: “in fulfillment of its mission to render public service, the university offers its physical and human resources to support the research needs of the public and private sectors of our society. It encourages the establishment of team-oriented, multidisciplinary research programs which are responsive to the complex problems facing contemporary society.”

The University’s faculty workload guidelines (updated in 2012) state:
- “Expectations for the allocation of the faculty's professional responsibilities align with policies and criteria for the award of tenure, promotion in academic rank, post-tenure career progression, and the award of annual merit. “
- “Faculty members search for ways to connect all aspects of their responsibilities [of teaching, scholarship and service].”
- “Off-campus educational experiences, service-learning projects, and interdisciplinary approaches to integrating learning are relevant to the determination of individual teaching assignments.”
- “Extent of integration of service activities with an individual’s teaching, scholarship and/or research” is desirable, should dovetail with P&T expectations, and is relevant to the determination of a faculty member’s workload.
In addition, a recent University-wide visioning process identified the support of transdisciplinary research as a priority. This initiative was announced as part of the University's new president's inaugural address in 2017.

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 library continues to support sustainability research and learning with an active materials acquisition program for faculty involved with sustainability research and creating sustainability-focused research guides for student learning. Further, the University Libraries support faculty and student research with more than 1 million print and electronic books; subscriptions to more than 200 databases; access to more than 68,000 print and electronic journals; and expert advice from an integrated team of knowledgeable librarians and staff. Through OhioLINK, a statewide library consortium, our students, faculty and staff can access more than 50 million additional items, delivered on demand within a few days.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium: https://www.udayton.edu/provost/stander/

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