Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.78
Liaison Elissa Brown
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

Whitman College
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Caroline Ashford Arya
Sustainability Assistant
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

Students are encouraged to pursue multidisciplinary research and degree programs. At Whitman, students can link a number of different academic focuses. Examples of this can be seen with our Environmental Studies program. Within this program students from Art, History, Anthropology, Economics, and Political Science can fuse their traditional degree focus with Environmental Studies. This is mirrored within our research as students are encouraged to develop research that crosses traditional academic boundaries. In addition to the Undergraduate Conference, our Office of Fellowships supports student research through the pursuit of national scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Additionally, most majors require a thesis about environmental studies bringing in another discipline. Additionally, the Summer Whitman Internship Grant (WIG) provides funding for students to participate in unpaid summer internship experiences to which they have already been accepted. Internships must be relevant to the applicant's educational goals and career interests; these do not automatically fit our research requirement, but often they do.


Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
No

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

No. However, we do have the Cross-Disciplinary Learning and Teaching Initiative in which groups of faculty can receive compensation for time and funds for books to develop their own cross-disciplinary topics, typically with an emphasis on teaching. Several of these have investigated topics around environmental issues, if not sustainability precisely.


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?:
Yes

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
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The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

Our institution recently revisited policies related to tenure. The institution's old policies provided recognition for interdisciplinary work in the previous tenure and promotions guidelines. The revised policy has given more attention to this interdisciplinary work. In addition to these policies, Whitman College has a number of faculty with shared positions across the college. Cross-discipline focuses are encouraged across a number of our departments (such as faculty having dual roles in Environmental Studies Department and Anthropology). Recently MOU for these faculty was written to better prevent their being overburdened from the responsibilities of dual programs. These policies are aimed at encouraging multidisciplinary research. In addition to these actions, the institution has adopted a policy recognizing emerging forms of scholarship, including digital scholarship and open access journals.


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

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

The institution currently provides an academic repository for research conducted by our faculty. In addition to this support the library supports subscriptions to a number of sustainability journals.


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