Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Fiona Wilson
Director/Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer
Sustainability Institute/UNH
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :
Yes

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

In 2021 the UNH Sustainability Institute launched a new university-wide annual sustainability awards program which recognized work in Curriculum Development and Teaching (as well as Research and Scholarship, Campus Operations, Initiatives and Culture, and External Engagement.)

All faculty including faculty and staff with research or adjunct appointments were eligible. Individuals or teams may self-nominate or be nominated by others, via an online form.

The program seeks to celebrate and incentivize research and scholarship, curriculum development and teaching, campus initiatives and culture, and external engagement activities and achievements that best embody the principles and practices of sustainability. The total number of awards granted is not predetermined and is based on the caliber of the submissions.

Platinum: demonstrates exemplary work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
Gold: demonstrates outstanding work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
Silver: demonstrates excellent work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
Bronze: demonstrates emergent or promising work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.

All awardees are celebrated at an annual recognition ceremony. Awardees receive a certificate of recognition and featured on the Sustainability Institute website.

Over 90 nominations were received in the inaugural year. All awardees qualified to be considered for funding to extend the work of their project, research, or curriculum development thanks to the Sustainability Institute's partnership with, and the generous support of, the Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project at UNH's College of Liberal Arts.

Award criteria developed by the Steering Committee are reflective of the complexity and reality of sustainability challenges, and the kinds of skills and approaches that sustainability requires. UNH Sustainability Awards recognize work that fulfills the following criteria:

Interdisciplinary: sustainability solutions inherently need to bring together a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives
Collaborative: bringing diverse stakeholders together for collective solutions, for example, team-based projects or public/private partnerships
Engaged: driven and informed by actual needs and challenges in the community/world
Inclusive: representative of diversity in all its forms
Innovative: harnessing novel or unique approaches to sustainability solutions
Impactful: has or has the potential to have significant impact on sustainability

Examples of faculty who received awards and funding to extend their work included Dr. Robert Mohr, Professor of Economics. Robert developed an innovative curriculum (ECON 706) that explores the economics and public policy of global climate change and develops the economic theory including the concepts of externalities, stock pollutant models, the social discount rate, and complicating factors such as information, uncertainty, technological progress and risk. in his course, students use economic analysis to compare different policy instruments such as administrative regulation, marketable permits, tax incentives, and direct subsidies. There is no published text on the economics of climate change, and so the funding award ($1,000) will support supplemental pay for Robert for summer 2021 for the preparation of three introductory chapters for a classroom reader on economics and climate change (that will be used in his own classes and will published for use by other faculty in the field.) Another example is Andrew Ogden, Faculty in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. Andrew spearheaded and developed curriculum for the first hands-on, experiential farming courses in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major. He has brought his extensive knowledge of tropical horticulture to UNH students through the Taste of the Tropics course, as well as taking students to Costa Rica for a J-Term course exploring Sustainable Agriculture in the tropics. Andrew has forged a strong connection with a university in Peru to facilitate the exchange of knowledge. Andrew received a funding award of $1500 to support the construction of two new high tunnels and related supplies to further enhance his experiential course.


A brief description of the incentives that academic staff who participate in the program(s) receive:

A total pool of $10,000 was available in the inaugural year of the awards program and was allocated on the Sustainability Awards Steering Committee based on the caliber of the faculty member's past work, as well as the potential for future enhancement. Faculty are asked to specify the amount of funding, how it will be used, and the potential impact/value. In the 2022 Awards UNH will be seeing additional donors to support a larger pool of funding for faculty. The Awards Steering Committee has also recently revised the awards criteria to include both courses newly taught in the last year, as well as proposed courses to further encourage development of new curriculum that can increase student learning of sustainability.


Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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