Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.90
Liaison Steve Mital
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Oregon
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sarah Stoeckl
Assistant Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The Environment Initiative in the Office of the Provost synthesizes goals and vision related to sustainability research and teaching. In addition to the information below, they have pushed for a cluster hire of up to 14 faculty to start AY 2023-24 and funded faculty fellows and dozens of innovative programs, projects, and collaborations. See https://environment.uoregon.edu/careers

The University of Oregon’s Environment Initiative represents a campus-wide coordinated effort to create an intellectual and active hub focused on higher education’s role and contribution to a just and livable future. The Environment Initiative aims to leverage the intellectual energy and endeavors of faculty, students, and community partners towards societal contribution through transdisciplinary research, teaching, and experiential learning. See https://environment.uoregon.edu/ei-faculty-advisory-committee

An Environment Initiative Faculty Advisory Committee has been appointed by the Provost to advise on institutional perspectives for strategic growth of the initiative.

As a community of scholars and researchers, we are determined to answer:
-How will our environmental research define and contribute to a livable and just future?
-How can we best equip communities, their leaders, and more significant components of civil society, to carry forth the insights produced?
-And, what must our students understand to live in this emerging world, and forge a better one?
We will work to bring these conversations together and to amplify the voices of those who have gone unheard.

The Environment Initiative is the place for promoting and answering questions on how to conserve, preserve, and sustain our environment. Let’s build an action plan together. Work with us.

Environment Initiative Guiding Principles
With the urgency created by the impacts of climate change and a fundamental commitment to environmental justice, we strive to be:
-Transdisciplinary and innovative in building integrated opportunities for -teaching, research, and community engagement centered around climate solutions, environment, and sustainability-related topics;
-Policy-relevant, data-driven, and evidence-based by doing applied work that translates to decision-makers in government, industry, and communities;
-Rooted and focused on issues of equity and environmental justice in which we add and amplify voices in the conversation, including work directly with or within diverse communities, including Indigenous, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and other communities;
-Responsive to the needs of local communities, tribal nations, the state, the eco-region, and beyond; and/or
-Tied to direct student outcomes, experiential learning offerings, and new ways of thinking about professional pathways for a changing world.

Environment Initiative Research Themes
As our work has developed, we have identified research themes that are staged in multiple waves of development:

First wave:
-Hazards Resilience
-Energy and Decarbonization
-Ecology, Systems, and the Designed Environment
-Natural Climate Solutions, Restoration, and Biodiversity

Second wave:
-Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Sovereignty
-Water Futures, Lifeways, and Sustainable Systems
-Social Change through Environmental Education and Communication

In the context of the rapidly changing landscapes of climate and justice, ongoing engagement will reveal additional strategic areas of strength that should remain in development. Possible strengths that may emerge as future waves include Health Equity and Climate; Food Studies; and Climate Data and Cyberinfrastructure, among others. UO's institutional success through the EI will allow us to continue to nurture and advance in important areas of research, teaching, and engagement.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The Office of Sustainability's mission includes broad engagement with the university and local community to further sustainability: Our mission is to lead the integration of sustainability into the University of Oregon's operations, curriculum, co-curriculum, research and engagement with the community. We accomplish this through a number of programs and partnerships that:

Provide strategic advice, information and resources to faculty, staff and students working to integrate sustainability practices and policies into their programming;
Develop policies that promote environmentally-sensitive behavior by campus users and responsible development and stewardship of campus assets;
Create, implement and manage innovative programs and events, in partnership with other campus units whenever possible;
Establish metrics and track institutional sustainability performance;
Share the University's sustainability story and encourage the campus community to support the growth and success of sustainable practices.

The University of Oregon Division of Equity and Inclusion has adopted a formal plan for its activities related to student, employee, and community engagement for sustainability called the I.D.E.A.L. Framework. The Framework is comprised of five pillars: Inclusion, Diversity, Evaluation, Achievement, and Leadership. The complete framework was finalized in 2016 and is available online: https://inclusion.uoregon.edu/ideal-framework

The I.D.E.A.L. Framework includes numerous measurable objectives for engagement related to social sustainability, which include the following:

Inclusion Strategies and Initiatives
Develop and engage university departments and communities in opportunities that enhance campus climate and interpersonal communication.
Develop and/or enhance statements about diversity, equity, and inclusion in university and departmental communications.
Work to ensure accessibility for all students as it relates to classrooms, technology, and various other university services.
Incentivize university actors to make diversity and inclusion a priority.
Examine the utility of exchange and visitation programs which would enhance institutional priorities and the university’s goals relative to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Better incorporate issues of equity, implicit bias, and cultural understanding in centralized and departmental human resources initiatives such as searches, onboarding, training, and exit interviews.
Provide more educational opportunities for students, faculty, administrators, and staff across campus to learn more about inclusive behaviors and cultural competency.
Enhance existing and, where appropriate, create new physical spaces for cultural and educational activities that promote inclusion.

Diversity Strategies and Initiatives
• Put in place national best practices for the recruitment and retention of graduate and undergraduate students with an overall aim of increasing the population of diverse students at the university.
• Increase and improve pathway and bridge programs for diverse students to ensure greater awareness of the UO and its opportunities as well as engagement with the UO.
• Examine and implement strategies to retain faculty and staff from typically underrepresented and underserved populations.
• Develop a network of UO employees, students, alumni, and friends to strengthen community connectivity and support diverse students, faculty, and staff as they work toward reaching personal and professional goals.
• Develop and implement formal and experiential learning opportunities for students and employees to acquire knowledge and skills with respect to issues of diversity.
• Support academic projects (e.g. research, curriculum development) on topics that lend themselves to diverse perspectives.
• Bring to campus scholars from diverse backgrounds to enrich academic discourse and education.
• Establish and support employee resource groups to enhance professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

Evaluation Strategies and Initiatives
• Require each academic and administrative unit to set goals periodically for diversity, equity, and inclusion that align with the goals of the IDEAL Framework and fit their unique circumstances.
• Develop a standard biennial assessment both centrally and the unit level through which leadership can assess successes, challenges, and opportunities in effectuating their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
• Engage campus departments and programs in evaluating existing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and efforts, and—through collaboration with the Division of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity—establish appropriate and measurable opportunities for improvement.
• Assess the use of communications tools to educate the community on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and then develop targets and tactics to improve overall outreach.
• Establish intra-university and university-community partnerships based on proven best practices, and identify measurable goals and outcomes for such partnerships.
• Create articulable goals for the Division of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, review and assess the Division’s programmatic activities, and provide a report stressing measurable outcomes.
• Align existing university resources expended on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives with programs and initiatives that have a proven track record of success and impact.

Achievement Strategies and Initiatives
• Increase the number of awards for diversity-related scholarship, research, teaching, community engagement, and/or exemplary work.
• Increase undergraduate and graduate student participation in cultural and international experiences.
• Provide additional avenues for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in scholarship and fellowship programs or other avenues of recognition, especially those who are traditionally underrepresented in such areas.
• Expand opportunities for students, faculty and staff to participate in professional development.
• Create a competitive grant program to provide opportunities for units and programs to receive funding to advance impactful work on diversity and inclusion, especially where such work can be sustainable and scalable.
• Provide enrolled undergraduate and graduate students with the social, academic, and/or financial support that will enable them to succeed at the university.
• Enhance existing pathway programs and create bridge programs to strengthen the academic preparation of high school, community college, and enrolled undergraduate students for success at the UO.
• Recognize work and achievement by UO alumni in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Develop and use articulable measurements of success for various goals and initiatives to improve accountability and an understanding of progress.

Leadership Strategies and Initatives
• Include evaluations of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of the hiring process for leadership.
• Articulate statements and goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Include as part of performance reviews the records of leaders in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Establish conscious recruitment strategies and hiring objectives tailored to the needs of particular units with respect to under-represented faculty, staff, and administrators.
• Engage development officers throughout the university with leadership in the Division of Equity and Inclusion to identify, pursue and realize opportunities for philanthropic support for diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities.
• Develop and promote programs that mentor and prepare members of under-represented groups for leadership opportunities at the UO.
• Share best practices for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the university.
• Ensure that the Division of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity deploys its resources to achieve maximum effectiveness in its mission of leading efforts on campus.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The Oregon Model for Sustainable Development is incorporated into the University of Oregon Campus Plan, as follows:
All development, redevelopment, and remodeling on the University of Oregon
campus shall incorporate sustainable design principles including existing and future land use, landscaping, building, and transportation plans.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The University of Oregon has adopted a Diversity policy that governs activities across the University. The policy is available here:

In addition, the UO's 2021-2026 list of strategic priorities emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion at levels of the institution. (Find link below.)

Last, one of the initiatives in the Office of the Provost is the Diversity Initiative: "The Diversity Initiative is one piece of the important anti-racism work our university is undertaking to create a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse institution. This initiative aims to build inclusive academic excellence and a more diverse faculty presence at UO immediately, as we seek to better represent and be more welcoming to students, faculty, and staff of color." https://www.uoregon.edu/diversity-initiative

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):

Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):

Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The institution’s definition of sustainability:

Sustainability is about meeting our current resource needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following?:
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

The deepest dive into the UO's sustainability commitments can be found via the Office of the Provost's Environment Initiative, which emphasizes research and teaching, as well as collaboration and the need for UO to also reflect its commitment to sustainability in operations: https://environment.uoregon.edu/

The strategic plan, linked above, references the Environment Initiative and an overall commitment to environmental sustainability, in addition to goals in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Presidential Profile for our newly-hired president features environmental values and expectations, as well as sustainability, prominently: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hvpowv9i8o9nmca/Presidential-Profile-UO.pdf?dl=0

The Comprehensive Environmental Policy provides high level commitments to sustainability in campus operations: https://sustainability.uoregon.edu/sustainabilityPlanning.html

The Climate Action Plan includes both commitments and vision for climate change mitigation goals: https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/university-oregon-climate-action-plan

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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