Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.46
Liaison Bradley Flamm
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Bradley Flamm
Director of Sustainability
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

Each semester, West Chester University's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs sponsors Research Day to highlight student research initiatives. The cover of the digital Research and Creative Activities Day Abstracts Booklet indicates that "Because West Chester University seeks to be a leader in local, regional, and global sustainability efforts, the Office of Research and Sponsored programs has collaborated with the Office of Sustainability to create a special designation for those Research and Creative Activity Day projects that perpetuate the health and welfare of people, economies, and the environment. Thus, all abstracts identified with the Brandywine B reveal the many ways that West Chester University faculty and students are helping to design, implement, evaluate, and improve a variety of environmental, social, and economic sustainability activities." Though the designation does not provide financial support to student researchers, it encourages faculty to mentor students in principles of sustainability research, draws attention to students' work at the Research Day event, and can be noted on curriculum vitae to highlight the attention they have paid to environmental, social, and / or economic sustainability. In the Fall of 2018, to take one example, 30 of 64 presentations represented at least one of the 17 United Nations SDGs.

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

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

The West Chester University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs began in the spring of 2018 to sponsor a Campus Sustainability Research and Creative Activities Grant. The program supports faculty efforts to investigate and develop sustainability-related projects on campus. Funding preference is given to proposals that specifically address and work to realize one or more goals of WCU’s Climate Action Plan (https://www.wcupa.edu/Sustainability/documents/climateActionPlan.pdf) while fostering collaboration between members of the WCU community, students, faculty, and staff. Faculty applicants are encouraged to include a model for student/faculty collaboration in their proposals and all proposals must demonstrate student impact.

Four grants of up to $2,000 were awarded in 2018 and three in 2019. An announcement for the 2020 round of grants was released in February 2020 and awards will be announced in late March.

As reporting of results is provided by researchers, summaries are posted on our website at https://digitalcommons.wcupa.edu/srca_gr/.

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?:

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

The university library has developed extensive online research guides for Environmental Sustainability (https://library.wcupa.edu/environmentalsustainability) and Environmental Health (https://library.wcupa.edu/environmentalhealth). The university library also provides support to faculty, student, and staff researchers by publishing copies of presentations, reports, and videos on WCU's Digital Commons platform in a "Sustainability Research and Creative Activities @ WCU" section: https://digitalcommons.wcupa.edu/srca/.

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Response compiled by Bradley Flamm, Director, Office of Sustainability, February 2020.

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