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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.43
Liaison Claudia Frere-Anderson
Submission Date Oct. 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Washington, Seattle
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
Director
UW Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

The University of Washington offers Green Seed Fund grants. Through the Green Seed Fund grants, the UW engages faculty, students, and staff in opportunities that advance sustainable research while contributing to campus sustainability goals. Successful proposals use the campus as a living, learning laboratory and help the UW find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues. Administratively/University funded, the research opportunities provided in sustainability on campus will guide future sustainability decisions and investments.
http://green.washington.edu/gsf

In addition, the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge brings together interdisciplinary student teams to design and develop a solution to a clean-tech problem and produce both a prototype (proof of concept/computer simulation) and business summary that demonstrates the market opportunity. Teams are judged - by Seattle-area industry clean-tech experts, entrepreneurs, and cleantech investors - on their prototypes (or computer simulations), pitches and business summaries, plus the potential impact of their innovation. The Environmental Innovation Challenge supports ideas that reduce environmental impacts, improve ecological sustainability, or conserve resources, and that can compete in the marketplace.
http://www.foster.washington.edu/centers/cie/eic/Pages/eic.aspx


The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

The University of Washington offers Green Seed Fund grants. Through the Green Seed Fund grants, the UW engages faculty, students, and staff in opportunities that advance sustainable research while contributing to campus sustainability goals. Successful proposals use the campus as a living, learning laboratory and help the UW find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues. Administratively/University funded, the research opportunities provided in sustainability on campus will guide future sustainability decisions and investments.
http://green.washington.edu/gsf

Additionally, consideration of sustainability issues is so integral to much of the research that is conducted in the UW College of the Environment that there is not a specific program to promote sustainability research. Instead, the College of the Environment has a strong infrastructure to promote environmental research in general, which encompasses sustainability research.


The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:
Has the institution formally adopted policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A brief description or the text of the institution’s policy regarding interdisciplinary research:

In the College of the Environment, promotion and tenure guidelines explicitly give positive recognition to interdisciplinary research, and the guidelines also emphasize that the UW Faculty Code values interdisciplinary research (24-32B) and contributions to diversity (24-32 prologue).
From the College of the Environment guidelines:
"4) CANDIDATE'S LIST OF SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS & PERSONAL STATEMENT
The Faculty Code states that each candidate shall include a self-assessment of his or her qualifications for promotion in the file."
From Academic HR:
“The candidate should provide a promotion statement listing and describing his/her scholarly or creative contributions in the record that are likely to be of the most lasting significance.... The candidate is also expected to describe briefly his/her significant teaching and service contributions.”
.... (extra College of the Environment guidelines):
Note that the faculty code highlights research mentorship as part of a research portfolio and also explicitly mentions that interdisciplinary research and contributions to diversity are to be valued. The College values external engagement and recommends candidates include a section on synergistic activities, interdisciplinary contributions and broad impacts. In the College’s guidelines, we have also explicitly put value on external engagement and impact.
The College of the Environment’s guidelines can be accessed online at:
http://coenv.washington.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Promotion-and-Tenure-Guidelines.pdf
This year, many if not most/all cases of promotion discussed by the College Council included and paid positive attention to issues of interdisciplinary and external engagement/impact.


The website URL where information about the treatment of interdisciplinary research is available:
Does the institution provide ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's library support for sustainability research and learning:

The UW Libraries has provided extensive services and support for sustainability research and learning for a many years, but increasingly so during the last three. For example, the Libraries has assigned several librarians responsibility for outreach to departments and programs emphasizing sustainability. This outreach includes research, consultation, instruction, and developing collections supporting related research and teaching. In addition to thousands of current, relevant books and tens of thousands of relevant journal articles to which UW researchers have access is the online Environmental Studies in Video collection (http://alexanderstreet.com/products/environmental-studies-video) now in process of being purchased.

An example of the kind of work the librarians assigned to support of environmental topics is the current and extensive library guide to resources on the Environment (http://guides.lib.washington.edu/environment); several others on such related topics as Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Fisheries, Forest Resources, Marine Studies, and Oceanography are also available, as are others related to topics touched on in the Earth Charter, such as Human Rights and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. (For a full list, see http://guides.lib.washington.edu/subject).

The Libraries also continues to actively pursue and support financially sustainable/Open Access publishing initiatives aimed at making information freely available to all users – another Earth Charter value. A recent relevant example was the Libraries’ role facilitating conversations between College of the Environment researchers and publisher BioOne that encouraged UW faculty members (including prominent ocean scientist Jody Deming) to become involved in the successful and high-profile launch of the new Open Access journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (http://elementascience.org).


The website URL where information about the institution's library support for sustainability is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.