ASU named one of nation's 'greenest' universities

July 28, 2008

Princeton Review rating based on environmental practices, policies and course offerings

Arizona State University has been named one of the nation's "greenest" universities by The Princeton Review in its first-ever rating of environmentally friendly institutions. Download Full Image

The "2009 Green Rating Honor Roll" is a numerical score on a scale of 60 to 99 that The Princeton Review tallied for 534 colleges and universities based on data it collected from the schools in the 2007-08 academic year concerning their environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings.

The Green Rating scores appear in the website profiles of the 534 schools that posted on The Princeton Review's site (">"> today.

In addition to ASU, 10 other colleges were named to the honor role, receiving scores of 99 (the highest score). These include, in alphabetical order:

• Bates College (Lewiston, Maine)
• Binghamton University (State Univ. of New York at Binghamton)
• College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
• Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.)
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.)
• Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.)
• University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.)
• University of Oregon (Eugene, Ore.)
• University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
• Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

"Being recognized as one of the nation's greenest universities is a proud moment for ASU. It is testament to our faculty, staff and students who have embraced the principles and values of sustainability and worked tirelessly to advance them in their research, teaching and outreach, as well as campus operations," ASU President Michael Crow says. "It also is a tribute to Julie Wrigley, who through her generous gifts, has helped ASU become a bold place that leaps beyond academic tradition to produce knowledge and discover solutions to global problems of sustainability."

With Wrigley's support, ASU's Global">">Global Institute of Sustainability was established in 2004 as the hub of the university's sustainability initiatives. The institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School">">School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers transdisciplinary degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges.

"Since 2004, ASU has been fully engaged in a massive effort to focus the nation's largest university directly down a path toward sustainability in all we do," says Jonathan Fink, The Julie Ann Wrigley Director at ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability and University Sustainability Officer. "With momentum gathering on our current initiatives to deploy solar power on all four campuses, create highly efficient buildings, launch a first-of-its-kind School of Sustainability, and support a transdisciplinary research federation dedicated to finding sustainable solutions for issues of energy, water, urbanization, and climate change, we are justifiably excited about the future both for Arizona and the world."

"ASU and its School of Sustainability have a bold, comprehensive approach to sustainability-related education," says Charles Redman, director of the School of Sustainability. "We are engaged in a global-survival experiment, in a time when sustainable solutions must be envisioned and implemented. While we realize we have a distance to travel to fully reach our goals of educating the first generation of sustainability students, applying advanced research to the grand challenges of sustainability, and operating our campuses with carbon neutrality and zero waste, we are pleased to be recognized for our ambitious vision of the future and our remarkable accomplishments in just a few short years."

The Princeton Review developed the Green Rating in consultation with ecoAmerica (">">, a non-profit environmental marketing agency.

The criteria for the rating (which ecoAmerica helped formulate along with the rating's data collection survey and methodology) cover three broad areas: 1) whether the school's students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable, 2) how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and 3) the school's overall commitment to environmental issues.

The institutional survey for the rating included questions on everything from energy use, recycling, food, buildings and transportation to academic offerings (availability of environmental studies degrees and courses) and action plans and goals concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Said Robert Franek, vice president / publisher at The Princeton Review, "The 'green' movement on college campuses is far more than an Earth Day recycling project or a dining hall menu of organic food. The commitment that many colleges and their student bodies have made to environmental issues - indeed, to the environment -- in their practices, use of resources and academic and research programs is truly compelling. We are pleased to play a role in helping students identify, get into, and study at these schools. It is the students of today who will face and hopefully find solutions for the enormous environmental challenges confronting our planet's future. "

Franek noted the rising interest among students in attending schools that practice, teach and support environmentally responsible choices. Among 10,300 college applicants and parents of applicants surveyed by The Princeton Review this year for its annual "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 63 percent of respondents overall said they would value having information about a college's commitment to the environment.

Executive director of ecoAmerica, Lee Bodner, noted "Forward-looking colleges and universities see the alignment between policies that are both good for the environment and good for students. "

Sharon Keeler

New ASU center puts emphasis on education

July 28, 2008

All the laptops are imaged, classrooms wired, chairs and desks neatly arranged and the scent of newness is in the air at the temporary space for the new Center of Educational Innovation’s Polytechnic Elementary School in East Mesa.

The center, which is managed by University Public Schools Inc., an affiliate of ASU, opens its doors Aug. 11 to its first class of about 220 students ranging from kindergarten age through sixth grade. Download Full Image

The principal, staff and teachers have been trained and are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to meet their new students and parents. Before opening day, ASU’s mascot, Sparky, will attend the “Meet the Teacher Night” Aug. 7 to “spark” everyone up for a great year.

“The opening of Polytechnic Elementary School is a tremendous step toward our goal of improving student achievement for all students in Arizona,” says Larry Pieratt, executive director of University Public Schools Inc. “We are most grateful to the ASU faculty, University Public Schools staff and teachers who have worked endlessly over the past months to prepare for this opening. Most importantly, we are grateful to the parents and students who have demonstrated their faith in the center and are now partners in our mission of developing leaders for our state’s future.”

More than 150 families and their children have been involved in the process of creating University Public Schools’ first school. In addition, ASU faculty members from nutrition, physical education, fine arts, early childhood, speech and language, science and mathematics have contributed their time and insights to the project.

“ASU’s efforts to partner with the pre-K-12 community to advance educational success in the state takes a significant step forward with the first center opening,” says Eugene Garcia, an ASU professor of education and vice president of Education Partnerships. “Using and sharing the multiple and substantial intellectual resources of ASU to address real Arizona educational challenges embodies the central mission of University Public Schools.”

University Public Schools will continue to form partnerships with ASU faculty for curriculum development and research opportunities, and to seek partnerships with school districts across the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Shortly after classes begin at the temporary facility located just north of the Polytechnic campus, University Public Schools will break ground for the permanent school site on about 24 acres in the southwest portion of the Polytechnic campus.

Once completed, the school will accommodate students from preschool age to eighth grade in fall 2009, and through high school by fall 2010.

Upon build-out, the Polytechnic school is expected to have 1,400 students students enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

For more details about the new school or future partnerships, contact Julie Kroon Alvarado, director of community and university engagement, at (480) 727-1195 or visit the Web site">">http://universitypublicschools.a...