In October, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognized Baylor as one of the top performing colleges and universities in the 2015 Sustainable Campus Index, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). The report also highlights best practices and sustainability innovations from more than 50 U.S., Canadian and Mexican institutions that have submitted a STARS report in the last 12 months.
Baylor received Silver designation for its sustainability efforts and was named among the Rising STARS for demonstrating significant commitment to advancing sustainability.
The University also received specific designation as a top performer for Coordination, Planning and Governance, one of 17 campus sustainability impact areas included in the report. This subcategory recognizes institutions that are dedicating resources to sustainability coordination, developing plans to move toward sustainability and engaging the campus community in governance.
"This recognition validates the ongoing efforts of our campus partners to create a more sustainable campus community," said Pattie Orr, vice president for information technology and dean of University Libraries, who has championed Baylor's sustainability efforts since 2007. "Their collective efforts along with administrative support from the highest levels of the university have made our past efforts a success and encourage us as we pursue our Sustainable 2020 goals."
Smith Getterman, assistant director of sustainability and special projects at Baylor, said, "To be recognized as one of the best in the country is a great honor that acknowledges Baylor's commitment to fostering the development of the leaders of tomorrow and the judicious stewardship of our resources."
In addition, under Diversity and Affordability, AASHE highlighted the Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative (BIPI), which is designed to create a catalyst for social change around issues of poverty, social justice and human capability. BIPI is administered through the division of Student Life in partnership with a faculty director and advisory committee. The program focuses on discipline-based service and encourages faculty partnerships and civic research.
BIPI serves as the umbrella for several affiliate projects and initiatives, such as the Campus Kitchens Project at Baylor, the Open Table Movement, an interdisciplinary minor in Poverty and Social Justice, a community garden, a summer internship and fellowship program, issue-specific immersion trips, and conferences and symposia.