Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.23
Liaison Maria Dahmus
Submission Date June 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of St. Thomas
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amir Nadav
Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The Sustainability Council acts as a conduit and advocate for sustainability-related activities on both the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses. The council’s members coordinate and collaborate on the development and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, research and curricula across the university with approval by the president’s senior staff. The council manages the university's sustainability web page and its contents to ensure completeness and robust descriptions of sustainability activities. The council recommends long-term sustainability goals for the university and identifies the means to achieve them related to the President’s Climate Commitment. Council members are expected to solicit input and to champion and communicate to each member’s respective areas of involvement so that all campus stakeholders become informed and take ownership of sustainability initiatives.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Elise Amel, Professor, Psychology
Jim Brummer, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management
Elizabeth Child, Marketing Writer, Marketing, Insights and Communications
Amy Gage, Program Director, Neighborhood Relations
Angela Hasouris, Assistant Director, Dining Services
Aaron Macke, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life
Amir Nadav, Assistant Director, Campus Sustainability
Alex Nasser, Sustainability Chair, Undergraduate Student Government
Kyle Schneider, Student, President, Engineers for a Sustainable World
Mark Vangsgard, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Office of Sustainability Initiatives (OSI) creates opportunities for experiential, applied learning in sustainability across disciplines at the University of St. Thomas through the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) and facilitates the integration of sustainability across the curriculum to advance the common good. Our initiatives and partnerships seek to prepare students to become problem-solvers and innovators for human and environmental well-being in contemporary society.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
1) Elise Amel, Faculty Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives; 2) Maria Dahmus, Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives; 3) Amir Nadav, Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution (e.g. a campus-wide committee or an officer/office responsible for the entire campus)?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

During the previous three years, members of the St. Thomas Sustainability Council have launched several new programs to support enterprise-wide sustainability and sustainability across the curriculum. We began Spring 2015 by earning an internal strategic initiatives grant that helped us develop the Office of Sustainability Initiatives (OSI), with two sustainability officers, a Faculty Director and an Assistant Director/Program Director. The first initiative of the OSI was the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP). SCP links city/municipal-identified sustainability projects with faculty, courses and students at St. Thomas. Since then, over 1,100 students have participated in real sustainability work in our region.

The second initiative designed by the sustainability officers, launched during the fall of 2015, was to create a designation for courses that include a substantive sustainability component. Since then there have been almost 100 courses designated SUST, which are posted on the OSI website and searchable through the registrar’s “course finder” search engine. Following up on the success of the SUST designations, the officers worked with Environmental Studies faculty to design a sustainability minor, offered for the first time in fall 2017 with almost 40 students already signed up.

In spring 2017, we launched the Sustainability Scholars program, which is a dedicated $50,000 pool of money to support undergraduate, sustainability-related research grants.

During 2016-2017 the two OSI officers were invited to apply for and subsequently earned a 3-year $575,000 grant to foster a deeply embedded culture of sustainability that directs our students’ critical thinking, wise action, and skillful work toward a life of sustainability leadership. As a result of that grant we were able to hire a full time Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability. Thus, the OSI now is comprised of 3 sustainability officers and an intern.

The addition of our Assistant Director of Campus sustainability has allowed us to pursue an AASHE STARS rating, which we have been working toward since January of 2018.

Most recently, the sustainability council authorized the sustainability officers to develop and disseminate a campus knowledge, transportation and culture survey to all students, faculty and staff. Results are being used to develop a strategic plan for enterprise-wide sustainability.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.