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

STARS v2.2

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Marianella Franklin
Director of Sustainability
The Office For Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's (UTRGV) mission is to transform the Rio Grande Valley, the Americas, and the world through an innovative and accessible educational environment that promotes student success, research, creative works, health and well-being, community engagement, and sustainable development.

https://www.utrgv.edu/strategic-plan/plan/index.htm


The University Sustainability Council helps build a comprehensive program for sustainability on campus, bridging the gap between existing traditions and new generations of students, while creating connections to national and international sustainability organizations and efforts. The goal of the USC is to examine issues across a broad array of academic, administrative, and operational programs at UTRGV. The USC will build on the university’s impressive expanse of academic expertise, infrastructure, and archival resources to extend sustainability across all eleven colleges and schools’ curriculum, and thereby increase the number of UTRGV graduates who have developed a basic understanding of sustainability. The USC has developed several initiatives to aid in these endeavors, such as a website devoted to increasing environmental literacy and plans for a speaker series on sustainability issues.


https://www.utrgv.edu/sustainability/about/university-sustainability-council/index.htm

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:
The USC is comprised of 15 committees, which fall under the three broad categories of Leadership, Education, and Operations. These task force working groups are comprised of university personnel and community members.

The members of the Council serve as the chair for each of the working group sub-committees. They also serve as a voice for their particular campus constituency to ensure that the voices of the entire campus community are heard with regard to their critical sustainability issues. The members of the Council must represent all aspects of sustainability on campus, including economic and social equity as well as environmental issues.

Committees:
Leadership
Energy Conservation
Research
Facilities
Marketing
Transportation
Outreach
Purchasing
Education
Dining Services
Curriculum
Materials, Recycling, & Waste
Co-Curricular Education
Landscape & Grounds
Health & Wellness
Information Technology
Athletics
Operations

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

A brief description of each sustainability office:
The Office for Sustainability’s mission is to advance the principles of sustainability through the continuing existence of a healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable campus that enhances individual health, community well-being, and positive teaching/learning experiences, while maximizing efficiency, accessibility and affordability by educating and empowering faculty, students, staff, and community to enact change on our campus and the region.

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
3

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Marianella Q. Franklin, Chief Sustainability Officer

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:
Marianella Franklin, Chief Sustainability Officer from the Office for Sustainability provides institution-wide coordination, working together with the University Sustainability Council to build a comprehensive program for sustainability on campus, bridging the gap between existing traditions and new generations of students, while creating connections to national and international sustainability organizations and efforts. The goal of the USC is to examine issues across a broad array of academic, administrative, and operational programs at UTRGV. The USC builds on the university’s impressive expanse of academic expertise, infrastructure, and archival resources to extend sustainability across all eleven colleges and schools’ curriculum, and thereby increase the number of UTRGV graduates who have developed a basic understanding of sustainability. The USC has developed several initiatives to aid in these endeavors, such as a website devoted to increasing literacy on social, economic, and environmental literacy and including speakers on sustainability issues to the Student Speakers Series. However, the largest accomplishment of the OFS and USC is the launch of the Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum, to further integrate education for sustainable development into UTRGV academic curriculum and activities within the various disciplines at UTRGV.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Chief Sustainability Officer

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
This position provides leadership in support of the University’s long-range planning activities. This position directs implementation of the University’s comprehensive strategic planning, implementation, and progress tracking of all sustainability goals. The Director of Sustainability manages a coherent, campus-wide sustainability program by coordinating operations, planning, academic, research, and student sustainability activities. Fosters a culture of sustainability among students, faculty and staff; collaborates with University leaders to identify and prioritize areas for institutional sustainability efforts; plans and develops long and short range programs; engages with institutional leaders to foster sustainability broadly across campus units.

Serves as a point person for all sustainability activities on campus, annual reporting requirements and other University policies related to sustainability. This position manages all inputs to AASHE STARS (Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Reporting System), the transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Measurements and inputs relate to all units on campus, including energy and materials flows of Facility Services’ managed state buildings and grounds, Auxiliary Services program revenue space, as well as coordination with UTRGV community stakeholders. Sustainability planning and programming is fostered through this position for multiple campus divisions. This regards but is not limited to: energy management, waste and recycling strategies, sustainable food operations, potable and storm water management, alternative transportation planning, LEED or comparable green building standards, procurement standards, conservation awareness and behaviors modification, and other related
sustainability measures.

Coordinates and supports the academic community to integrate sustainability into curriculum, living learning lab opportunities, internships, as well as campus sustainability service learning. Works with appropriate University entities to leverage sustainability efforts to increase student recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.

A major role of this position is to interpret and in turn provide recommendations to implement sustainability plans and policies. This will be accomplished through the development of feasibility studies, energy use and material flows of the UTRGV campus, and an ability to work across campus to embed sustainability measures into the culture and objectives of each division and unit.

Performance indicators such as those embodied in the STARS report will be used to track progress toward goals and also institutional sustainability performance. The position reports to the Vice President of Business Affairs.The Chief Sustainability Officer will regularly be called upon and report out to multiple units of campus leadership at their request.

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

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
The Office for Sustainability Program Coordinator, Jeremy San Miguel, supports in the coordination of sustainability education and behavior change programming which includes, but is not limited to, research, events, marketing campaigns, marketing. The program coordinator supports the Office for sustainability teams that are delegated with building, enhancing, and showcasing sustainability at UTRGV.

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

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
The Office for Sustainability Program Specialist, Jacquelynn Hernandez, supports in the coordination of sustainability efforts and advanced administrative coordination, which includes, but is not limited to, research, events, marketing campaigns, marketing, sustainability budgeting, and recruitment and hiring of sustainability staff. The program specialist supports the Office for sustainability teams that are delegated with building, enhancing, and showcasing sustainability at UTRGV.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
The UTRGV Office for Sustainability as well as its activities and accomplishments work towards all 17 sustainable development goals by connecting, collaborating and contributing to the implementation of the goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

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.