Sustainability New Course Development Awards

Funded by the Green Fee

The Office of Sustainability and the Center for the Skills & Experience Flags are pleased to announce an open competition for course development funds to create three (3) new undergraduates courses that investigate sustainability issues as they intersect with one or more flag areas (Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Ethics and Leadership, Global Cultures, Cultural Diversity in the US, and Independent Inquiry).

Sustainability is commonly understood to require a balanced pursuit of ecological health, social equity, and economic welfare. The pursuit of sustainability is grounded in an ethical commitment to the well-being of not only current populations, but also future generations. The concept of sustainability is broadly applicable to courses across the curriculum including topics such as environmental ethics, climate science, resource management, energy efficiency and technology, transportation and planning, as well as courses that speak to the history and philosophy of environmentalism, environmental health, environmental arts and performance, economic development, social justice, communication and psychology.

Submission Guidelines

Applications may come from any academic unit on campus. All interested faculty members should complete the online new course development award application and relevant Flag proposals by January 15, 2015.

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The proposed new course must:

  • Be an undergraduate course that has never been previously taught.
  • Incorporate sustainability as a distinct and significant course component/module OR concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue throughout the course.
  • Integrate the sustainability component with up to three Flags (Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Ethics and Leadership, Global Cultures, Cultural Diversity in the US, Independent Inquiry).
  • Be offered at least three times beginning with either the Spring 2016 or Fall 2016 semester. Preference will be given to courses that are designed to be a regular part of the department’s course offerings.

Award Structure

For each award, $5000 will be given to the selected instructor to support costs associated with new course development (i.e. salary supplement, travel, books, research expenses, technology costs, etc.); the remaining $1000 will be given to the chosen instructor’s home department.

Please note that funding will not be disbursed until the selected course receives approval from the home department and the appropriate flag committee(s).

Review committee

Course development proposals will be evaluated by the Sustainability Course Development Committee and relevant Flag committees on the basis of merit and feasibility. The committee will prioritize proposals for courses that:

  • demonstrate disciplinary innovation;
  • feature inquiry-based learning activities;
  • embrace ethical complexities;
  • encourage strategic planning and action;
  • and foster the development of interpersonal skills.

The proposal will be evaluated in the following four areas:

  • Strength of emphasis on sustainability concepts
  • Integration of Flag component(s) with sustainability course content
  • Degree to which the course is ground-breaking within its discipline
  • Degree of contribution to UT Austin’s current offerings in sustainability studies