Final Paper – Sustainability in Higher Education

For my final paper I would like to further explore Colleges and Universities as organizations, and how difficult it is to change them in order to accommodate for new innovations.  More specifically, I plan to look at the effect that the “Green Movement” and sustainability have had on higher education.  The green movement and sustainability are innovations that are sweeping our nation and appearing rapidly in our schools. I am interested to see how, and if, the structure and delegation of tasks within these organizations change.

Sustainability is a complex concept which involves more than installing recycling programs or serving organic foods.  It involves a more complicated integration of environmental concerns and social justice issues.  The AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing “human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.” Furthermore, achieving sustainability in higher education is best defined by improving the following areas: leadership, recycling, buildings and grounds, curriculum, energy, food, transportation, and outreach.  These eight areas were defined by the Arnold Creek Production and show how complex the innovation of sustainability is.  There are many reasons why colleges and universities are working towards a sustainable future, including economical, competitive, and moral/ethical reasons.  However, I wish to look past why they are interested in sustainability, and concentrate on how they are implementing the new methods with those that already exist.

Like big operations everywhere, campuses are plagued by divisions. The lack of coordination between students, faculty, and the various administrative departments is an issue when trying to introduce a new campus-wide innovation.  Schools have to figure out how to integrate technical climate plans with institutional practices, governance structures, financial decision-making processes, and campus culture.  Revamping energy-guzzling buildings, selling new food, and changing the curriculum are just three areas that will involve time, money, and coordination of administrators, faculty, and students.  There is also a question of leadership and who will take charge of the new implementation or any issues that may arise. While some schools have hired sustainability coordinators, others find current staff members to head the challenge.

These are just a few ideas that I have been looking at when it comes to sustainability and higher education. I also wish to look at social movements as a whole and what changes they bring in the past, present, and future.  Hopefully these ideas will tie together in my research paper and provide an interesting piece for a higher education audience.


Student Loan Programs

Here is a little from a NY Times editorial about the student loan program.  Interesting example of how the rules of a particular industry get written. This industry may hit a little closer to home than railroads or shipping.

Private companies that reap undeserved profits from the federal student-loan program are gearing up to kill a White House plan that would get them off the dole and redirect the savings to federal scholarships for the needy. Instead of knuckling under to the powerful lending lobby, as it has so often done in the past, Congress needs to finally put the taxpayers’ interests first.

Really Cool Map of Knowledge

This was in NY Times. They use a measure of actual journal browsing behavior to create a map of knowledge.

Bollen et al map of clickstream data of scholars

Bollen et al map of clickstream data of scholars

If you like this, you can take a peek at this map not of o-line browsing, but co-citation.  As in, I cite a paper in Journal B, but I am published in Journal A.

Co-citation structure from James Moody.

Where Did They Learn this Stuff?

Economic Meltdown Bankers – Harvard MBA, Stern School of Business – Business School | wowOwow
Which schools are the Academies of the Apocalypse, and who and how many went to each?

Is how Deborah Barrow launches into her list.  Harvard is on top.  This is amusing, but not a very systematic pool of candidates.

Best of February 24th – March 3rd

The Best of Bloginization This Week…

General Tips and Suggestions: 

  • Write with care, compose your posts in Microsoft Word to avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes. Review your posts at least once before publishing. 
  • When adding hyperlinks to your posts, select the text you wish to link and click the Insert/edit link button (or press Alt + Shift + A) you may add links to your comments by using this syntax: <a href=”url“>Link text</a> where url is replaced by the Internet link and Link text is replaced by the text which will appear as the link. 
  • Add more sources to your posts, think from the perspective of a stranger, what claims would they like to see justified?
  • Add a feed to your Facebook page from our blog! Click here to learn how. This will help generate more traffic to our blog 🙂 


Best Overall: Leah’s The Enron Elixir

Best Original Theory: Holly’s Places I Don’t See Hierarchies: 1) Enron… , Leah’s The Enron Elixir

Best Adapted Theory: Dave’s Enron Population

Best Quality of Writing: Evan’s When the wind blows, the house of cards will fall, Leah’s The Enron Elixir, Dave’s Enron Population

Food for Thought: Josh’s To be Ethical, or not to be Ethical, Megan’s Does achieving goals mean success?

King of Quotes: Evan’s When the wind blows, the house of cards will fall

Best Pop Song Lyrics: The song “Go hmmm…” in Wittney’s Enron’s Visions and Values: What are they hiding?

Original Video Research: Blaire’s Three Blind Mice

Most Interactive: Kelli’s This is the lesson that never ends…? , Evan’s When the wind blows, the house of cards will fall, Leah’s The Enron Elixir

Best One-Liner: Take on Lewisburg’s weather in Blaire’s Three Blind Mice 

Most Commented: Evan’s When the wind blows, the house of cards will fall with 8 comments

Best Title: Leah’s The Enron Elixir and Evan’s When the wind blows, the house of cards will fall 

Best of Feb 16-Feb 23

Announcing This Week’s Best Of…

Thanks to Ross and Blaire, this week’s Blgo Council.  They also wrote our new “About Us” page.

Best Overall (content and writing)

Zuffola’s “Rock Bottom”

Most Theoretical

Using the way back machine to pull in Fayol, the award goes to Kristin’s “Enron and The Former President.”

The Blogitzer (Blog + Pulitzer)

Best written… Leah’s “When There’s a Will, There’s a Scheme.”

Honorable Mention for Amusing or Entertaining Post

Jgoods’ has the goods here: “Where do I Want  to Work?” This  post is also notable for having the Best Image.

The Envelope-Pusher’s Citation for Posts that go Above and Beyond

Two posts are really outstanding in this category.

Nadir’s “Cooking the Books: Recipes from Around the World” a post that also deserves a shout out for Great Title.

Megan’s sleuthing continues as she enlightens us with the mysteriously titled “Section 402

The Commenter’s Early Bird Award goes to Nadir

Finally, the Student Thumbs Up for Funny Line: “we kick it to the curb (or in the dogs case, we serve it poisoned meat).”   Geoff, hope your vacation helped you mellow out!