Posted September 9, 2008
Idaho State University earned four exemplary listings from the National Wildlife Federation for its environmental and ecological programs.
Nationwide, 1,068 universities and colleges in all 50 states responded to surveys by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International, under the direction of the National Wildlife Federation. About 27 percent of the United States’ colleges and universities responded to the survey.
ISU was one of only 24 institutions of higher education that received four or more exemplary listings out of the 18 categories chosen by the National Wildlife Federation. Willamette University in Salem, Ore., had 11 exemplary programs, the most of any university or college.
“Based on these ratings, I hope Idaho State University is proud of its performance,” said Julian Keniry, senior director, Campus and Community Leadership, National Wildlife Federation. “I hope the university will continue these efforts and to continue to model solutions and share them with a wider audience.”
Idaho State University received the following exemplary listings:
• ISU was one of 40 schools listed as an “Exemplary Schools for Environmental or Sustainability Goal-Setting”;
• ISU was one of 52 institutions listed as an “Exemplary Schools for Having Recruiting Programs and Offering Interdisciplinary Degrees in Environmental or Sustainability Studies”;
• ISU was one of 49 institutions listed as “Schools Committed to Doing More with Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable Energy”; and
• ISU was one of 14 institutions sited for “Recycling more than 80 Percent of Its Municipal Waste.”
The purpose of Campus Environment 2008 report is to explore the extent to which college and university leaders value environmental performance and sustainability and are putting these values into practice, according to Keniry.
The NWF reported on current activity and performance, and also compared these trends with a similar study conducted in 2001.
“My colleagues and I were struck by how almost across the board, universities and colleges have ambitious plans to do more to improve sustainability, energy efficiency and to offer more programs on environmental studies,” Keniry said. “This certainly wasn’t the case in 2001, when most institutions we contacted were just trying to meet the government regulations and to do the minimum.”
Keniry said that her organization was surprised that the academic side of insititions, overall, lag behind the operations side of universities in implementing sustainability measures. Outside of disciplines devoted to sustainability such as environmental science and biological science other academic disciplines such as business, engineering, education and health science are not embracing environmental sustainability in their curriculums.
“Campuses aren’t preaching what they’re practicing, it is kind of a paradox,” Keniry said. “Academics still lag behind operations in their sustainability efforts.”
The 64-page report is available at www.nwf.org/campusEcology/campusreportcard.cfm.
Contact: Julian Keniry, senior director, Campus and Community Leadership, National Wildlife Federation, (703) 438-6322 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Greg Horton, ISU Interim Associate Vice President of Facilities Services, (208) 282-2784