Sustainability Strategic Thinking
Lon Kaufman, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Mark Donovan, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, have empowered the campus community to begin a Sustainability Strategic Thinking (SST) process to define sustainability for UIC and how it connects with the long-term strategic goals of the campus. To this end, they have charged a campus-wide Sustainability Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee and Sustainability Strategic Thinking Streering Committee.
Historically UIC has addressed “sustainability” in terms of environmental issues such as energy consumption, recycling, trees, and transportation alternatives. However this is only one part of the larger concept of sustainability, which takes into consideration other components – for example economics, resources (human, natural, and built), or diversity and social equity – that contribute to the long-term success of a complex system.
The goal for the Sustainability Strategic Thinking process is to view the sustainability of UIC in areas beyond ecology and the environment. Together, we will:
Consider what sustainability means in teaching, research, service, operations, and our impact on future communities.
Examine our place within the urban environment and how that connects to our learning community.
Ask questions such as:
- How can we have a long-term view that ensures the future of programs, research and student success?
- How can we build lasting relationships with community partners? How do we best preserve knowledge and information in the digital age?
- How do we help our students retain what they have learned?
- How do we prevent staff and faculty from “burning out?”
- How do we connect environmental concerns with social justice?
All of these are ‘sustainability’ issues in the larger view of the term.
Universities are incubators for the great ideas that propel the future.
Whether it’s the heritage garden in collaboration with our student cultural centers, the multi-building geothermal system and LEED Certified smart design of Lincoln & Douglas Halls, the campus-wide recycling program and the thoughtful biowaste management at the UIC Hospital and College of Medicine, the organic soup kitchen at the Jane Addams Hull House, or the College of Education professors who are teaching the next generation of educators, UIC is an institution where ideas about sustainability are taking shape.
On this page you will find examples that highlight UIC’s progress toward becoming a sustainable community, and documents that catalog our work to identify these assets.
Introduction to the SST Process
Sustainable Innovations in the Dental Practice
Sustainability in Research & Teaching
Efficient & Responsible Resource Consumption in Labs
Douglas Hall: A LEED-Certified Building
Wholistic Approach to Sustainability
Food and Cultural Sustainability at the Hull-House
With guidance from the Sustainability Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee (SSTAC), UIC students spent the Spring 2013 semester identifying and interviewing individuals on campus whose work, independently or through their campus organization or department, represents the many facets of sustainability at UIC – we refer to them as Assets. The SSTAC was organized into four working groups in which the assets – nearly 200 – could be organized and further categorized.
Education & Outreach
Documented by Eduardo Muñoz and Agnes Otap
- Gender and Sexuality Center and Urban Innovation Symposium
- Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement and Intergroup Dialogue
Documented by Romina Castillo and Ryan Mitchell
- Electronic Visualization Lab, Bike Plan, Office of Technology Management, and Learning Management System
- Recycling Program, Office of the Registrar, and Urban Transportation Center
Documented by Rosemarie Dominguez and Nina Pellizzari
- BURST (Building Urban Resilience and Sustainability) and Memorial Grove
- IDEA Commons and Prof. Moira Zellner, Urban Planning and Policy
Health & Wellness
Documented by Rhea Rashad and Jen Zoleta; view the entire presentation.
- UIC/NIH Botanical Center
- Campus Dining Services
- Chancellor’s Initiative in the Humanities: “Food Studies at UIC: Local and Global Issues”
- Urban Health Program
- Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center
- Endocrine Disruptor Research
- Prof. Curt Winkle, Urban Planning and Policy
- Prof. William Kling, Public Health
As UIC engages in a Sustainability Strategic Thinking (SST) process to define sustainability for our institution and how it connects with the strategic goals of the campus, the resources on this page are intended to support the SST Advisory Committee and other interested UIC community members who want to think about the meaning of Sustainability and the systems that intersect, or work in concert, to support a sustainable community.
SSTAC Introduction | PowerPoint | November 16, 2012
Phase 1 Report: Going Beyond Green Portable Document Format | October 2013
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