Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.83
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date Jan. 9, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Kentucky University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Christian Ryan
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee, office, and/or officer that focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the committee(s), office(s), and/or officer(s) during the previous three years:

WKU created a Sustainability Coordinator position and established an Office of Sustainability in 2008. Since then, much has been accomplished. In the past three years, the Office of Sustainability acquired a university owned residence as its office space. The house is being developed as a sustainability best practice demonstration home, complete with sustainable landscaping and solar energy, among other things.
The Office of Sustainability is home to the Big Red Bikes program, in in the past year has also become the home of the WKU Food Pantry. In 2014, the Office of Sustainability created Project Grow, a program that engages student Fellows to create and maintain edible landscape and community garden space at the Office of Sustainability, as well as conduct workshops.
In summer 2014, the Sustainability Coordinator assisted with a climate themed study abroad voyage that visited Iceland and other Northern European countries to investigate climate change impacts and mitigation strategies. This experience has prompted us to create a unique climate action plan for WKU, currently in progress.
Other activities and accomplishments abound.

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The original President appointed Sustainability Committee, created in 2008, has been restricted to focus on the creation of a climate action plan. It now exists as the Climate Action Committee.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Climate Action Committee:
Bryan Russell - Chief Facilities Officer
Gary Meszaros - Assistant VP for Auxiliary Services
Christian Ryan- Sustainability Coordinator
Dr. Leslie North - Professor of Geosciences and climate change
Dr. Jason Polk - Professor of Geosciences and climate change
Jason Delambre - external advisor, Midwest Clean Energy Enterprises
Arden Gregory - student - Meteorology
Alex Hezik - student - Sustainable Agriculture

The website URL where information about the sustainability committee(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

It is the mission of the Office of Sustainability to promote a culture of sustainability at WKU, integrating principles of ecological integrity and social equity into academics, practices, and partnerships. Our goal is to ensure that WKU is an institution that provides innovative solutions to global challenges, prepares students as engaged and responsible citizens, and observes best practices in campus operations and services.
The Office employs two students (20 hours per week) and engages interns and graduate assistants.

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

The website URL where information about the sustainability office(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Christian Ryan, Sustainability Coordinator

A brief description of each sustainability officer position:

The WKU Sustainability Coordinator works under the direct supervision of the Vice President for Campus Services and Facilities. The main responsibility of this position is to interact directly with students, faculty, staff and the community on a wide range of sustainability initiatives. The principal objective of this position is to develop ideas, programs, and policies that advance sustainability goals for WKU. The Coordinator will foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational and administrative departments, utilizing existing in-house expertise, peer institution practices, and published research and literature, to evaluate current practices, recommend development of sustainable initiatives, and develop detailed implementation plans to advance sustainability.

The website URL where information about the sustainability officer(s) is available:

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