Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.19
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Texas at Austin
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Jim Walker
Director of Sustainability, Financial, and Administrative Services
University Operations
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Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
Yes

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

Provisional, from the development of the online Sustainability Directory:

Does this course purposefully:
 
· Aim to better understand and lessen the negative impact of human activity on earth?
· Teach or research methods of reducing our ecological footprint?
· Work toward the continued health and well-being of the planet and future generations?
· Teach or research on increasing social equity, environmental justice, or responsible global citizenship?
· Focus on improving the quality of all life on earth?


Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:
Yes

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:

1- The School of Architecture and the LBJ School of Public Policy provided a catalog of their courses, with their own definitions of sustainability.
2- Students of the UT Campus Environmental Center hand-counted courses for Fall 2009, dividing up the different Schools among different researchers, and reading course titles and descriptions in the official course catalog. Results were recorded in a spreadsheet.
3- Geography department program coordinators reviewed a provisional list of courses in their department to confirm the courses' coverage of sustainability topics. Help was also provided from Energy & Earth Sciences. Some of these collaborations are ongoing.
4- With regard to courses, the Sustainability Directory development team started by evaluating the STARS ’09 and ’10 lists. They ultimately catalogued slightly more than half of that list (146 classes) and excluded what didn’t fit the criteria in Part 1. As the principal researcher for sustainablity courses, Alice Gerhart added approximately 149 classes to the catalog.  
5- As a general rule of thumb, we defer to faculty/staff’s understanding of their own work/teaching. 


Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:
Yes

The website URL where the sustainability course inventory is posted:

There will be a beta release of the Sustainability Directory in January 2011 with a full public rollout in March 2011. The finalized definition of sustainability in the curriculum will be subject to approval by the Academic Subcommittee of the President's Sustainability Steering Committee. The above definition should be considered a working definition, but one that was used consistently in evaluating the courses reported in ER-6 and ER-7.

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.