Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.36
Liaison Marianella Franklin
Submission Date Jan. 10, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Marianella Franklin
Director of Sustainability
The Office For Sustainability
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Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:
Created in Spring 2019, this program provides graduate students with an immersive research experience focused on sustainability. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) will competitively award one-year graduate fellowships to outstanding new students to engage in projects addressing sustainability and community resilience in the Rio Grande Valley coordinated by UTRGV’s Office of Sustainability. Sustainability Fellowships are available only to new, full-time graduate students who will enroll in any Master’s or doctoral program at UTRGV for the first time. Continuing UTRGV graduate students are not eligible. These fellowships cannot be combined with other graduate fellowships such as those from NIH, NSF, DOD, or USDA, etc. A total of $15,000 will be awarded to each student in three separate installments; $6,250 in Spring 2019; $2,500 in Summer 2019 and $6,250 in Fall 2019. The fellowship funding will be directly applied to student’s tuition & fees bill for a minimum of 9 credit hours in Spring semester, 9 in Fall semester and 3 in Summer term; the remaining amount will be available to the student after the census day during each semester/term. Expectations In addition to pursuing their graduate program, the Sustainability Fellows are expected to engage in an impactful sustainability and community resilience project within or outside the university coordinated by the UTRGV Office of Sustainability. To maintain the fellowship, student awardees are required to (i) submit a project progress report at the end of each semester/term and (ii) maintain a minimum OGPA of 3.20. By the end of the first cohort's first semester, the fellows had completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory (the first for UTRGV) and begun two research projects: one on student food insecurity, and one focused on the academic portion of AASHE STARS. Site: https://www.utrgv.edu/sustainability/sustainability-research-fellowships/index.htm

Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:
Created in 2019, the Faculty Fellowship program supports seven faculty members in their sustainability research by providing a stipend and office space in the Office for Sustainability. Faculty fellows at the Office for Sustainability are expected to connect with their peers, collaborate with undergraduate and graduate researchers and lead the way towards pioneering sustainable solutions within the region and towards a global spectrum. Faculty fellows are expected to work on individual projects, mentor undergraduate and graduate fellows and act as sustainability leaders through the lens of equity, diversity, and social justice. The fellowship also allows faculty to build a strong relationship with community partners and networking opportunity with other sustainability. Site: https://www.utrgv.edu/sustainability/sustainability-research-fellowships/faculty-sustainability-fellowship-programs/index.htm

Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
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The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The minimum research/scholarship required to meet expectations for promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor is (1) the authorship, since their last promotion, of at least four (4) peer reviewed publications with at least two (2) articles in refereed journals (may include up to 2 peer-reviewed book chapters), (2) the faculty member shall be the sole or lead author on at least one (1) of the four (4) publications, (3) the accumulation of at least 15 Activity points from the list of Activities below: -Publication of a peer reviewed journal article(s) or book chapter(s) beyond the Minimum requirement of four (4) peer reviewed articles mentioned above (4 points each). This activity includes transdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary publications. -Publication of a peer reviewed journal article(s) or book chapter(s) beyond the minimum requirement of two (2) peer reviewed articles mentioned above (4 points each). This activity includes transdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary publications. Note: Principles for tenure & promotion criteria and standards vary in different academic units and the guidelines are defined by departmental/school or college policies.

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
Recently UTRGV launched a sustainability-hub to promote the culture and sustainability values in students and faculty in friendly ecosystem. The library management is developing a robust tool for the community. Site: https://utrgv.libguides.com/sustainability/home The UTRGV library database offers e-learning and articles about sustainable development across the board, from curriculum integration (featuring workshop literature from ICSAC) and LibGuides, an online resource tool for students (Research assistance, subject guides, and useful resources compiled by your friendly librarians) also provides additional information and e-books about sustainability as it pertains to fields as diverse as transportation and dance. http://utrgv.libguides.com/srch.php?q=sustainability

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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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.