Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.19
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date Feb. 13, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Louisville
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Justin Mog
Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives
Office of the Provost
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Does the institution advocate for national, state/provincial, or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In conjunction with the December 2015 UN Climate Talks in Paris, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that he intends to sign the Compact of Mayors, which is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Prior to signing, he solicited statements of support from area leaders, including UofL President James Ramsey who responded with the following public statement: “The University of Louisville has been a leader in higher education with its commitment to environmental sustainability. In fact, the University of Louisville is committed to accountability – academic accountability, financial accountability and environmental accountability. We fully support Mayor Fisher’s participation with Compact of Mayors and for committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Louisville Metro area.”

UofL's Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods center regularly advocates for more sustainable urban planning and development strategies that would not only enhance the sustainability of cities in general and of our city in particular, but would also benefit our urban campus. The Center advocates for issues such as enhanced walkability & bikeability, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, increased density, mixed-use developments, and historic preservation. As one example of this work, on March 16, 2015, the Center published an op-ed in the local Courier-Journal newspaper advocating for the conversion of one-way, car-centric corridors to two-way, pedestrian- and business-friendly streets: "More than one way to think about urban streets": http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/03/16/one-way-think-urban-streets/24847471/

In May 2012, UofL advocated against reductions in service to Louisville's public transit system, operated by the Transit Authority of River City. The University stated that the proposed changes "would have a significant, detrimental impact on the University and many members of its community.

UofL's Center for Environmental Education has been involved in advocacy as follows:
1. Task force on the Master Plan for Environmental Education in Kentucky (recommendations for the next five years to the legislature and stakeholders in the state).
2. Task Force on a plan for Environmental Education for the Kentucky Department of Education in preparation for No Child Left Inside federal funding.
3. Participation in the National Association of Biology Teachers Task Force for NRC framework for new science standards offering support for interdisciplinary, ecological, environmental, action oriented content laden orientation.

UofL's advocacy for responsible energy policy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky dates back to 2008, when UofL's President Ramsey joined in a statewide initiative called "Energizing Kentucky" which was launched with this joint statement from the presidents of Berea College, Centre College, University of Kentucky, and University of Louisville:
"We believe higher education has an important role to play in the work ahead: framing issues, seeking solutions, providing basic and applied research, and educating the next generation. We know that this work requires a partnership across the Commonwealth that includes business and public policy leaders, as well as those involved in education. We four presidents, representing both public and private institutions, propose a public policy focus on energy for the Commonwealth of Kentucky that we call 'Energizing Kentucky.'" As the brainchild of Berea College President Larry D. Shinn, Centre College President John A. Roush, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. and University of Louisville President James Ramsey, Energizing Kentucky encourages Kentucky to focus on a coherent and integrated energy policy and will assist this policy formation by bringing together state and national energy experts to discuss the economic, educational, and environmental opportunities and challenges presented by the world's current energy situation.

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years:

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts is available:

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