|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
Washington University in St. Louis
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):
Bring Your Own Ideas
The Office of the Provost wishes to encourage interdisciplinary faculty dialogue across
school and departmental lines to enhance community, enrich faculty research, develop
new cross-school courses, and broaden faculty perspectives on topics of teaching and
research interest. In the interest of fostering relationships between faculty that may yield future teaching and research collaborations, the provost has funded several rounds of the Cross-School “Bring Your Own Idea” program.
Topic: Sustainability, Environment, and Public Health: Diapering Practices
Rebecca Chibnall, MD, School of Medicine (Dermatology)
Jay Turner, DSc, School of Engineering & Applied Science (Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering)
Interdisciplinary Teaching Grant Awards (First Year Course)
Beyond Boundaries courses are designed to prepare students for a rapidly evolving world characterized by social, political, scientific and economic problems that cannot be solved using knowledge from a single discipline. Team-taught by faculty from different schools across Washington University, Beyond Boundaries courses offer a window into how scholars from different disciplines approach big, critical topics – like our aging population, the nature of creativity, the phenomenon of climate change, the rise of a digital society and the evolving art of medicine. These courses will equip students to make a difference in a complicated world, where challenges do not come pre-packaged as the territory of a single discipline. These courses will transform the way students think about the world and help them become both more creative problem-solvers and more insightful scholars of life.
EXAMPLE: Earth’s Future: Causes and Consequences of Global Climate Change
Climate change is said by many to be one of the most important issues of our time. Nine of the ten warmest years in the modern meteorological record (which goes back to the 19th century) have occurred since the year 2000, with 2015 and 2016 being the two hottest years to date (2017 is on track to be the second hottest yet). Today, the major political debates on the subject focus on whether climate is changing naturally, or if humans are causing climate change. The scientific reality, however, is that climates have changed through geological time, are changing now, and will continue to change in the future.(TR Kidder, A&S/Anthropology; Brent Williams, Engineering)
A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:
For the BYOI program, the Provost Office provides grants of up to $1000 for each group of faculty to hold at least four lunch, breakfast or other meetings to discuss an idea of common interest. The funds are used to cover food and beverages (they are not direct awards to the faculty.)
For the interdisciplinary courses team taught by faculty from more than one school, we provide a small amount of funding for first-time summer prep of the new course, instructional assistants (formerly called TAs), course materials, and funds to support a course release for the faculty members (these funds are paid to the schools, not to the faculty).
The intention is for the faculty to receive a course release to teach the interdisciplinary course, but that is not always possible especially for faculty who also have administrative duties. This varies school to school and faculty member to faculty member .
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission: