Fall Semester 2011 Highlights:

CELEBRATE

Ball State, one of 227 charter schools to participate in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program, earned a silver rating for its sustainability performance. The university was just a few points short of earning a gold rating.

The 25th case study detailing some of the sustainability efforts at Ball State was posted on the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology site. The case studies are available from http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/Campus-Solutions/Resources/Case-
Studies.aspx
.

FACILITATE

COTE members introduced and passed six resolutions.

  • Six names were recommended as options for future Bracken environmental lecturers.
  • Ball State administration is being asked to consider seeking LEED gold certification for new buildings.
  • A recommendation was made that departments be asked to update their unit sustainability plans.
  • Participation in STARS 2 was recommended.
  • Participation in the Green Revolving Loan Fund was encouraged. This is a national program that involves universities’ foundations setting aside dollars for conservation activities.
  • A recommendation was made that, since the geothermal project will make Ball State a predominantly electric campus, on-site electrical production should be implemented as a next step in our Greenhouse-Gas-equivalent emissions reduction.

At the December meeting, COTE members participated in breakout sessions.

The Behavioral Change/Conservation Group led by Ted Wolner discussed:

  • Extending the 20 percent savings in electricity usage achieved in Noyer this semester into next semester, and beyond
  • Student organizations to prod or push faculty and staff to achieve energy savings in their buildings as impressive as the 20 percent savings in Noyer this semester
  • Investigate over-illuminated buildings (e.g. Bracken Library) to see how reductions in electricity usage might be implemented (unscrewing some lights)
  • Get electricity usage readings on individual buildings from the facilities office

The Unit-Level Planning Group led by Bob Koester discussed the need to:

  • Place annual unit-level planning updates into strategic plan
  • Clarify the overlap of the unit-level planning with the STARS Reporting
  • Request/submit unit-level plans on a rolling calendar – perhaps one-fourth per quarter
  • Include the unit reporting on sustainability in routine annual unit reporting
  • Recruit more student involvement
  • Administer sustainability assessment as “part of the culture”

The Community Outreach Group led by Jon Creek discussed:

  • Sustainability efforts in Muncie as not coordinated, unlike BSU wherein COTE is a central driver and information exchanger.
  • There are green accomplishments going on in Muncie but generally they are not known outside the individual silos.
  • Gathering information on Muncie's ecological or carbon footprint might be a first step in developing a comprehensive energy plan.
  • The Muncie Action Plan (MAP) executive staff has extended an invitation to organize a community wide sustainability initiative under its overall mission goals. The outreach group will explore this possibility at the MAP annual meeting Dec. 7 at Minnetrista.
  • Muncie Public Libraries is a potential partner to provide BSU-based green programming to a community audience.
  • The BSU-Muncie bike initiative needs review/restart.

Membership reports recognizing their faculty or organizations for sustainability activities were made by the following COTE members:

  • Charles Allen from Telephone and Postal Services
  • Barry Banks from Red-tail Land Conservancy (note name change)
  • Michelle Dudka from Teachers College
  • Mai Kuha from the College of Sciences and Humanities

ANTICIPATE

The university’s Greening of the Campus IX will take place March 18-21, 2012, on campus. The theme of the international sustainability conference will be “Building Pedagogy.”

If you have nominees for COTE’s 2011-12 awards, please find a nomination form on the COTE website. All nominations are welcome.

The next COTE meeting will be Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in the boardroom at the Alumni Center.