Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.32
Liaison Andy Mitchell
Submission Date July 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Illinois Chicago
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Cynthia Klein-Banai
Associate Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

From large-scale technological advancements in energy and sustainability to personal behavioral decision-making opportunities, the intersection of energy, technology and behavior is a critical juncture for understanding and achieving a sustainable and resilient society. BEEST provides an interdisciplinary place for undergraduate and graduate students to explore specific topics within this broader research area, including topics such as scalability of energy efficiency, management and stewardship of water resources, environmental and policy influences on electricity markets, medical technologies as models for sustainability practices, water infrastructure disparities, resilient communities, integration of greenways/nature with smart grids, smart cities, and techno-behavioral influencers on energy decision-making.
The students engaged with BEEST launched the Symposium on Energy, Environment and Sustainability (SEES) in 2018. SEES is a student-organized and led effort, whose inception came as a result of student interest in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainability. The goal of SEES is to expand the dialogue through interdisciplinary collaborations so that we are better equipped to address the energy, environmental, and sustainability challenges facing us in today’s world. Since then, the once-per-semester, in-person events has expanded into multiple virtual webinars per semester. The program not only highlights industry experts but also the early career work of students and alumni in areas covered by topics of each SEES program under the mentorship of Energy Initiative faculty. The tenth Symposium on Energy, Environment and Sustainability (SEES) was just held in February 2021. The long-term vision is to grow this Symposium to all Chicago area university students – both undergraduate and graduate – and to become the chief platform for students to share their research and build a network around the key topics in Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.

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:

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:

In the promotion and tenure guidelines it addresses the issue of interdisciplinary research: "The availability of and reliance on external funding varies considerably across fields and it is important that campus reviewers be told the situation and expectations of the candidate's discipline. Collaborative Work: Because interdisciplinary and multi-investigator research is becoming more common, campus reviewers need more detail on the role of candidates in research and teaching that is collaborative. In the case of research use Section II C. to delineate the contributions of the candidate. Letters from co-authors that document the relative contributions of the co-authors can be especially helpful and should be solicited by the executive head. An executive officer statement that explains the value of collaborative work in a given discipline may also be helpful." While optional, faculty are able to include up to one page in their promotion and tenure papers about interdisciplinary work and include appraisals from colleagues about their collaboration to that research.

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 University of Illinois faculty developed an e-text titled: Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation. It is available at http://cnx.org/content/col11325/latest/.
The library also has a research guide at https://researchguides.uic.edu/c.php?g=252581&p=1683942

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

Office of Sustainability collected the data from campus websites and partners.

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