Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 60.17
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Michael Noreen
Conservation and Efficiency Coordinator
City of River Falls Municipal Utilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Powerful Choices! advisory committee: Develop conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy solutions for the City of River Falls, including but not limited to, educational programming in the public schools, scholarships for conservation minors entering the UW-RF, development of a solar garden and solar rooftops, community behavior change and overall programming to meet our sustainability goals.

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity: Formal partnering and integration of students and faculty for planning, design, and construction of the Eco-Village, providing 18 LEED Platinum, net zero energy homes and a community commons building, integrated with community gardens, edible landscape, rainwater harvest, shared electric transportation, and walkable community, among other attributes.

Assisting the River Falls School District and its Sustainability Team (consisting of teachers, administrators, and parents) in design and implementation of their strategic planning objectives including behavior change games such as Cool Choices!

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

Sustainable Community Proclamation, in effect since it was signed jointly by the River Falls Mayor, UWRF Chancellor, and River Falls School Superintendent.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Construction is underway on the new St. Croix River Crossing between Oak Park Height, MN and St. Joseph, WI. UW-River Falls serves on the Growth Mitigation Advisory Team charged with mitigating the environmental impact of the project and the population and economic growth expected to result from the project. UW-River Falls is the lead organization in facilitating inter-governmental collaboration among the communities where the majority of economic and population growth is expected. To date, UW-River Falls has sponsored an economic impact study and sponsored attendance at events focusing on the water quality of the St. Croix River. UW-River Falls has begun work on a program to assist communities with planning and zoning to ensure that economic and population growth takes place in an environmentally friendly manner.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls recently established a goal of enrolling 147 international students by the fall 2017 semester. This goal has already been surpassed as over 400 international students, representing 19 countries, are enrolled at UW-River Falls for the fall 2014 semester, the highest number in the university's history.

"Meaningful engagement with people from different cultures and experiences better prepares our students for an increasingly global and diverse world, and enhances our campus and broader community," said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen.

Three cohorts of students, from Brazil, Saudi Arabia and China, are responsible for much of the increase.

Approximately 400 students from Brazil are attending UW-River Falls as part of that country's Scientific Mobility Program. The scholarship program funds a year of overseas study for Brazilian undergraduates, primarily in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

Roughly 20 elementary education majors from Zhejiang International Studies University (ZISU) in Hangzhou, China, are taking courses at UW-River Falls and will be in elementary school classrooms in River Falls on Fridays, learning and being mentored by River Falls elementary school teachers.

"The partnership between ZISU, the School District of River Falls, and UWRF is a great example of what is possible when institutions work together for the good of our students and community," said Van Galen.

-Blake Fry, UWRF special assistant to the chancellor

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships 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.