|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
University of Massachusetts Amherst
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture
|1.00 / 1.00||
Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:
In Fall 2019, UMass Amherst conducted a Sustainability Survey to gather information to support the University’s academic, research, and campus initiatives that promote sustainable living practices in a collaborative environment. Representatives from the School of Earth and Sustainability and University Relations collaborated with the Office of Academic Planning & Assessment to develop the survey in house after reviewing several surveys conducted by other institutions.
The survey will be implemented every three years in order to assess whether communications and activities with the campus community have an impact on the sustainability culture of UMass Amherst. The survey was administered to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff.
The survey employed the United Nations’ definition of sustainability (“meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”), and sets of questions focused on sustainability awareness and attitudes, behaviors and practices consistent with sustainable living, and University efforts and initiatives.
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:
A random sample of 1248 faculty were invited to complete the online, confidential survey and 25.9% (n=323) participated. A random sample of 2000 staff were invited to complete the online, confidential survey and 25.4% (n=506) participated.
A random sample of 4981 students were invited to complete the online, confidential survey and 34.9% (n=1736) participated. Students for the sample were selected to reflect the student body make up in key demographic areas (male/female and college/school enrolled in).
The post assessment survey will provide longitudinal data on the sustainability culture of the campus and will be administered next in Fall 2022.
A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:
Results covered numerous topics, but two key results inquired about issues of concern and university priorities.
The three issues faculty are most concerned about (% selecting) are Climate change (81%), Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems (53%) and Pollution (46%), while The three issues staff are most concerned about (% selecting) are Climate change (68%), Pollution (57%) and Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems (47%). The three issues students are most concerned about (% selecting) are Climate change (59%), Pollution (47%) and Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems (41%).
What faculty perceive should be the University's "first academic priority" related to sustainability education is Preparing students for careers in the green workforce (44%) while staff felt that the three sustainable institutional areas the University should focus on most are Recycling and waste reduction on campus (61%), Increased use of clean energy to meet campus energy needs (61%) and Prioritizing sustainable purchasing for University supplies and services (44%). Students "first academic priority" is Creating Gen Ed courses (35%) focused on sustainability and the most important sustainable institutional area they would like the University to focus on is increasing the use of clean energy on campus.
Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
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.