Building and Leadership Organization in Higher Educational Institutions
Institutions of higher learning are unique – they have to build culture in a frequently changing group of community members – every year, one-fourth of the community is completely replaced. A high-turnover community is reliant on cultural traditions that are passed from person to person and on individuals, organizations, and projects that remain with the institution long enough to affect tradition themselves.
Beyond simple comprehension, sustainability culture is the shared commitment to sustainability attitudes, values, and practices, and is a result of education becoming belief and belief becoming action.
Before affecting action, individuals need to be made aware of existing problems and existing solutions in which they can participate. Traditional methods of formal education include classwork, lectures, brochures, and documentaries.
Informal education is real-life learning sessions outside of the classroom. Some examples of informal education include hands-on volunteerism with an environmental initiative or discussion about sustainable food with friends at the dinner table.
Some actions are inherently sustainable, but are not a choice, and therefore do not reflect true commitment to sustainability principles. One example might be someone who rides a bike to school because they don’t have a car.
Intrinsically motivated people do not make choices based on financial motivation or pressure from others. They make environmentally conscious choices because they know the options, know which is best, and they are a product of the culture of sustainability.
Many universities are finding that an Office of Sustainability is an essential liaison between the administration, staff, faculty, and the student body. The office can have two types of setups – a highly structured divisional setup whereas all projects run through one central, guiding source or the unified structure which is less defined and brings leaders of every organization on campus to collaborate on sustainability. A university would obviously be best served by utilizing elements of both strategies.
Recommendations for the University of Notre Dame
- Clarify organizational structure
- Engage freshmen during orientation
- Annual hall staff sustainability training
- Financially incentivize energy savings
- Increase sustainability content in all courses
- Seek feedback through biennial cultural survey
- Measure and publish progress in annual sustainability report
- Develop a central online hub for organization of people, events, and projects
Because of the innate virtue of sustainability and its incredibly broad applications, Notre Dame and other institutions of high learning should have great hope that through well thought-out development, wise leadership, and patient efforts, it will have a great chance of succeeding.
Aguiriano, Juan. "How to Create a Sustainability Culture." Sustainable Business Forum. Social Media Today LLC, 21 Dec. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/juanaguiriano/48798/how-create-sustainability-culture>.
Alofs, Paul. "8 Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture." Fast Company. Mansuetto Ventures, LLC, 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.fastcompany.com/1837853/8-rules-creating-passionate-work-culture>.
Bardaglio, Peter. "Rebooting the Future: Building a Culture of Sustainability at an Online University."Rebooting the Future: Thinking about Sustainability, Climate Change, and Clean Tech. N.p., 16 Nov. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://rebootingthefuture.com/2010/11/15/building-a-culture-of-sustainability-at-an-online-university.aspx>.
Bertels, Stephanie, Lisa Papania, and Daniel Papania. "Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture: A Systematic Review of the Body of Knowledge." Presentations. Network for Business Sustainability, 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://nbs.net/fr/files/2011/08/NBS_COrg_SystRev.pdf>.
"Building an Organizational Culture of Sustainability: Employee Engagement." TriplePundit News. TriplePundit, 24 Sept. 2009. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.triplepundit.com/2009/09/building-an-organizational-culture-of-sustainability-employee-engagement/>.
"Creating a Culture of Sustainability: How Campuses Are Taking the Lead." Education. Herman Miller, 2005. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.hermanmiller.com/hm/content/research_summaries/wp_Campus_Sustain.pdf>.
"Cultivating Business Sustainability Culture at Brunel University." Cisco Case Studies. Cisco, 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <https://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps10195/brunel_university_energywise.pdf>.
"A Culture of Sustainability." Sustainability. Eaton Corp., 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.eaton.com/Eaton/OurCompany/Sustainability/ACultureofSustainability/>.
Dadiomov, Liza. "The Culture of Sustainability at Santa Clara University: A Quantitative Measure and Future Implications." Environmental Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Santa Clara University, Apr. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.scu.edu/sustainability/education/upload/EnvEthicsLizaDadioFinalPaper.pdf>.
Farr, Hayley J. "Organizational Structure for Sustainability." Lecture. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston, MA. 14 July 2011. A Better City. Environmental Defense Fund, Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.abettercity.org/docs/events/BCBS%20Hayley%20Farr_28%20July%202011.pdf>.
"Green NAU." Green NAU. Northern Arizona University, 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.green.nau.edu/>.
Greenstreet, Teo. "Developing Cultures of Sustainability: Innovative Ways of Engaging Creativity and Values." Business Leadership Review 8.4 (2011): n. pag. MBA World. Association of MBAs, Oct. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.mbaworld.com/blr-archive/issues-84/6/index.pdf>.
Jenkins, Anne. "Culture of Sustainable Living." Clemson University. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2013.
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Shaping Change - Developing a Culture of Leadership at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany, 21 Dec. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.personalentwicklung.uni-mainz.de/Dateien/press_release.pdf>.
Marichiba, Matthew. "Workplace Culture." SustainabilityWorks. SustainabilityWorks, 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.sustainabilityworks.biz/services/workplace-culture>.
Markowitz, Eric. "How to Create a Unified Culture in a Company With Multiple Offices." Inc.com. Ventures LLC, 24 Feb. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.inc.com/guides/201102/how-to-create-a-unified-corporate-culture.html>.
McKinlay, James, and Vicki Williamson. "Creating An Ideal Workplace Culture: The Keys to Unlocking People Talent." Academic Librarian Society. Proc. of Conference towards Future Possibilities, Hong Kong. Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Nov. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/ALSR2010/>.
McLean, Denise. "Workplaces That Work." The Conference Board of Canada. The Government of New Brunswick, June 2003. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.gnb.ca/0037/report/workplacesthatwork-e.pdf>.
Myerson, Jeremy, and Marie Puybaraud. Institute for Building Efficiency. Issue brief. Johnson Controls, May 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.institutebe.com/InstituteBE/media/Library/Resources/Existing%20Building%20Retrofits/Issue-Brief-Sustainable-Cultures.pdf>.
Neumuenster, Abbaye. "Living Culture in the University: Developing Citizens of the World." Lecture. Transatlantic Dialogue. Luxembourg. May 2011. Culture Parliament. European Culture Parliament, May 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.kulturparlament.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Transatlantic-Conference-May-2011-Review-ECP.pdf>.
Page, Nadine. "Do Something Different to Create a More Sustainable Culture." 360° Autumn 2012. The Ashridge Journal, Aug. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.ashridge.com/Website/Content.nsf/w360/2012_Autumn_DoSomethingDifferent?opendocument>.
"Sustainability Action Plan: Steps for Education, Culture, and Leadership." Office of Sustainability. Clemson University, 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.clemson.edu/administration/commissions/sustainability/documents/CU-Sustainability-Action-Plan.pdf>.
Sustainability at Notre Dame 2008-2009. Rep. University of Notre Dame Office of Sustainability, 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013.
"Sustainability Related Clubs and Organizations." Campus Sustainability. University of Maryland, 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.sustainability.umd.edu/content/culture/student_organizations.php>.
"Sustainable Cultures in the Workplace Survey." What's Possible In Building Efficiency. Johnson Controls, 21 Aug. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <https://whatspossible.johnsoncontrols.com/docs/DOC-1574>.
Tran, Tiffany, and Moon Y. Cho. "Sustainability Internship Final Presentation." Lecture. Semester Presentation. Oakland, CA. 5 Dec. 2012. Building Sustainability at Cal. University of California, 7 Dec. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://buildingsustainabilityatcal.com/sites/default/files/Fall%202012%20Final%20Presentation%201.pdf>.