Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.37
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Lowell
EN-9: Staff Professional Development and Training

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Craig Thomas
Assistant Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution make available professional development and training opportunities in sustainability to all non-academic staff at least once per year?:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (the rate of staff participation in sustainability professional development and training)?:

Estimated percentage of regular, non-academic staff that participates annually in sustainability professional development and training:

A brief description of any internal sustainability professional development and training opportunities that the institution makes available to non-academic staff:
Professional development is a cornerstone of employment at UMass Lowell with an expectation and supports in place to ensure that all staff at the university complete professional development on a yearly basis. An employee's commitment to ongoing professional development is one of the key criteria included in UMass Lowell's annual performance review cycle.

In a large university, professional development and training opportunities is made available in many forms:

Formal Workplace Learning and Development Certificate Programs offered through Human Resources. Specific Example - Diversity and Inclusion Certificate

UMass Lowell's commitment to the fundamental principles of diversity and inclusion serves as a guide for our personal and collective behavior and, as evidenced through this STARS submission, is a key component of UMass Lowell's sustainability program. Join us in our mission to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone in the campus community.
In addition to formal workplace and development training, UMass Lowell's sustainability focused staff and faculty run a series of well attended and received training programs for staff and students throughout the year:

The UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative partnered with the Environmental, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (EEAS) Department and the Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy (RISE) in spring 2021 to hosted a series of virtual presentations for the UML community. The presentations are structured so that staff and community members can learn about and act on climate change and sustainability in their personal and professional lives. Examples of the presentations include:

Assoc. Prof. of Plastics Engineering Meg Sobkowicz-Kline started the virtual series on Monday, Feb. 1, with a talk on “Living with Plastics: Problems and Solutions.” Sobkowicz-Kline, who serves as the Francis College of Engineering’s liaison to the CCI, discussed the basic issues in plastics sustainability, her research group’s recent highlights, and steps being taken by her department to lower its environmental footprint.

On Feb. 22, Jennifer Atkinson, an associate professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington, explored the emotional toll of climate change and offer strategies for navigating anxiety, grief, guilt, fear and apathy. Atkinson hosts a podcast exploring the emotional impact of climate disruption called “Facing It,” and her seminar on “Climate Anxiety and Eco-Grief” was one of the first college courses of its kind in the country.

These training programs count for professional development during the annual employee performance review cycle and serves to expand and enhance the sustainability literacy and competency of staff at UMass Lowell.

A brief description of any external professional development and training opportunities in sustainability that are supported by the institution :
Staff can request external professional development opportunities through the Office of Sustainability, Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy, and various academic departments that are engaged in sustainability and energy related activities. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many offerings and limited the ability of staff to travel to trainings, past examples include:

- Sending a non-science educator to New England Aquarium's Climate Science for Educators Professional Development workshop
- Sending someone to UVM's Campus Sustainability Leadership Certificate course
- LEED Green Associate Prep Course
- LEED Exam Study Materials
- Covering LEED Exam Fees for Green Associate and AP Exams
- UMass Lowell attendance at COP-26 in Glasgow

UMass Lowell supports these initiatives by covering the cost of the programs along with employee's travel and lodging costs where applicable. These trainings and professional development opportunities, are acknowledged and encouraged as part of the annual employee performance review cycle.

Estimated percentage of regular non-academic staff for which sustainability is included in performance reviews:

A brief description of how sustainability is included in staff performance reviews :

Website URL where information about staff professional development and training in sustainability is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.