Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.88
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date April 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Texas at Austin
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jim Walker
Director of Sustainability, Financial, and Administrative Services
University Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for national, state/provincial, or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
At the federal level, UT-Austin has and continues to  advocate  for increased funding for The U.S. Department of Energy research portfolio, including the Office of Science, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Energy Frontier Research Centers, Innovation HUBS, the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E), and other programs that further energy research.  UT Austin also engages in advocacy regarding policy and regulatory issues pertaining to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Similarly, UT Austin is engaged in efforts at other federal agencies, such as NSF, EPA, etc., that pertain to or are focused on energy and general research.    Texas state agencies, including public higher education institutions, are limited in the manner in which they can advocate for issues (Chapter 556.006, Texas Government Code). However, UT-Austin provides policymakers with information on sustainability issues and their potential impacts on the university which permits policymakers to make informed decisions as they deliberate on policy matters. At the state level, UT-Austin closely monitors legislation that may impact the university. UT Austin continues to insure that its continuing energy production and efficiency efforts, admissions policies, budget policies and practices meet its core educational mission. UT-Austin collaborates closely with other state agencies and governing boards. UT Austin has an exceptional record of collaboration with The University of Texas System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and other state agencies on initiatives related to on-campus sustainability. UT Austin’s diligence in advancing sustainability issues is evident in its community efforts. Locally, UT-Austin is actively participating on the Pecan Street Project, a $10M multi-jurisdictional initiative promoting renewable district energy infrastructure.

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years:
Texas state agencies, including public higher education institutions, are limited in the manner in which they can advocate for issues (Chapter 556.006, Texas Government Code). However, UT Austin leadership have made public comments in support of voter referendum related to mass transit in the city and region, as well as in support of voter referendum related to the establishment of a medical school in which the university is a major partner.

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
Not applicable.

The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts is available:

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.