URI Strategic Plan for campus Sustainability
Curriculum and Research
Many of the country’s future leaders – politicians, educators, chief executive officers, small business owners and homeowners – are educated and engaged by institutions like the University of Rhode Island. As a higher education institution, the University of Rhode Island must be confident that all students are prepared to boldly and successfully take on issues of global importance.
We have the opportunity, as well as the responsibility, to instill an ethic of sustainability into each and every graduate. By infusing education and research with issues of sustainability, URI can make significant contributions to the knowledge economy, strengthen civic engagement and contribute to the emerging green economy.
This focus area of the strategic plan emphasizes the integration of sustainability principles and issues across the curriculum and into a wide range of research agendas. Traditionally, structured learning approaches problem solving as a tidy application of knowledge, when it is in fact often complex and ‘messy’ and requires cross-, trans-, multi- or interdisciplinary perspectives. While this is true of many contemporary disciplines, it is of particular relevance in sustainability, which broadly transects the “Three E’s” of environment, economics and social equity and analyzes how these different dimensions of sustainability relate to and support each other in both theory and practice.
Moreover, our students will have a great advantage in the workplace of the future if they have a solid grounding in sustainability, given its implications for transportation, energy, housing, agriculture, technology, human health and environmental stability. Employers will be looking for students with the skills to fuse together disparate components of sustainability in addressing complex global issues.
Curriculum and Research Goals:
1. Increase environmental literacy among all undergraduate students
2. Increase research opportunities that incorporate links between the local campus community and global sustainability issues
The URI Sustainability in Curriculum & Research Working Group is developing strategies and action items to help meet each of these goals. If you have any questions about our efforts please contact the Sustainability Office via email
or any one of the members listed below. Or, better yet, join us in our work. Students, staff, faculty and members of the community are welcome to work with us on campus.
Doug Creed, Assoc. Prof., Business Administration
Norbert Mundorf, Professor, Communication Studies
Deborah Rosen, Executive Director, URI Transportation Center; Professor and Associate
Dean, College of Business Administration
Malia Schwartz, Research Associate, Div. Research & Economic Development; and
Adj. Professor, Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science
Judith Swift, Professor, Communication Studies and Theatre; Director, Coastal Institute