Sustainability Scholarly Learning Community
There’s a new kid on the block—or rather on campus—working to promote sustainability at the undergraduate level. It’s a group of faculty and administrative staff who comprise the Sustainability Scholarly Learning Community. It hopes to make waves across the Colleges and throughout the undergraduate curriculum!
Never heard of such a learning community? A faculty or scholarly learning community is a group of faculty or and other members of a campus community who are interested in promoting bottom-up initiatives of multi-disciplinary or interdisciplinary scope. The idea and rationale for these emergent communities were first developed and implemented at Miami University (of Ohio) and have proved to be enormously successful in percolating from the campus grass-roots new and innovative ideas, programs, and projects from all three of the University’s traditional missions of teaching and curriculum, research, and university or community service.
The Sustainability Scholarly Learning Community brings together 12 faculty and staff noted for the interest and commitment to sustainability teaching, research, and practice. This scholarly community is a natural outgrowth of this university’s developing focus on campus sustainability evidenced by the emergence of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and the expansion of the Tracy Farmer Center on the Environment into the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment. It has also been generated out of many faculty and administrative staff conversations over the past 2-3 years about considering the merits of establishing a new interdisciplinary major on sustainability. Indeed, this will be the top priority of the group during the remainder of the 2009-2010 academic year. Other agenda items include: acting as a sounding board to town-gown initiatives, securing grant funding, and working with the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and the Student Sustainability Council.
Interested faculty and administrative staff around the UK campus are encouraged to contact Ernie Yanarella, political science professor and chair of the group, with thoughts and ideas and opportunities for better integrating sustainability into the undergraduate curriculum or interdisciplinary research or sharing other innovative ideas for utilizing undergraduates for advancing sustainability-oriented tasks on campus or around the Lexington community. Email: email@example.com or phone: (859) 257-2989.