Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.14
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Michigan University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jeff Spoelstra
Sustainability Coordinator
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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):

Initiated in the spring of 2012, the interdisciplinary Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) operates under the auspices of the University Center for the Humanities. The group has three main goals: (1) enhancing the education of WMU students, faculty, and staff to increase their awareness and understanding of climate change (2) providing community outreach to increase awareness and understanding of climate change and to engage interested citizens in activities related to climate change mitigation, and (3) supporting interdisciplinary research and grant-seeking related to climate change.

A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Members of the CCWG are given a modest budget and space in the humanities building for biweekly meetings and organization efforts. They have leveraged these resources into high-profile activities, such as bringing former president of Ireland Mary Robinson to WMU as part of a lecture series.

The CCWG has brought together faculty from diverse parts of the university and enabled them to collaborate on research, curriculum development and engagement opportunities for WMU students. The CCWG organizes the Kalamazoo Earth Day event each year in collaboration with the Kalamazoo Nature Center and the City of Kalamazoo.

The opportunity to collaborate and get real work done fast is what brings many faculty to join the CCWG; ergo, part of the incentive to participate is the clout that the group carries, which allows faculty members to align resources and enact progressive policies/research initiatives that they may not have been able to alone.

There are community members and members of other higher-ed institutions that also participate in this group. The group focuses primarily on activism and the infusion of climate change into diverse curriculum.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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