Salisbury University students on campus

Goal 5: Enhance Environmental, Social and Economic Sustainability

As a regional comprehensive University, SU’s mission emphasizes and supports how we can contribute to the sustainability of the local Eastern Shore community. To advance our mission and values, the University continues to be dedicated to educating students to be strong, thoughtful, resilient and responsible contributors to society. SU is not only committed to preparing students to address the most pressing issues of our time, locally and globally, but also to ensuring the advancement of efforts to support future generations. Sustainability, as defined by the United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development, is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs". [1] Sustainable practices are those which support environmental, social and economic health and vitality.

The University’s commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability is demonstrated through several undergraduate and graduate programs. Interdisciplinary programs and courses offer students the opportunity to understand and participate in creating an evolving and responsive society. By supporting the local community and ensuring its health and vitality, we encourage social adaptability and the well-being of future generations. In addition, SU is uniquely situated within a coastal environment located in a small but vital metropolitan area, providing the University with multiple opportunities for the University to be a leader in environmental outreach, education and applied research. Similarly, the University will strive to model best practices to conserve natural resources and increase environmental awareness within the local community. As SU approaches its 100-year anniversary, we are committed to tackle the challenges that lie ahead of us and to face regional sustainability challenges with leadership and resiliency.

[1] United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, ed.  Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Objective 5.1 - Serve as a leader in our region in providing educational opportunities that enhance social, environmental and economic sustainability.

  • Strategy 5.1.1. Identify and promote current undergraduate and graduate academic programs that could serve as signature programs supporting economic, social and environmental sustainability.
  • Strategy 5.1.2. Explore opportunities for new academic programs in sustainability where there is a need and interest exists.
  • Strategy 5.1.3. Inventory and promote sustainability courses and programming offered by SU both on and off campus.
  • Strategy 5.1.4. Support research on regional environmental sustainability practices and values.

Objective 5.2 - Aspire to lead local environmental sustainability initiatives and communicate those efforts to internal and external constituents.

  • Strategy 5.2.1. Expand staffing for environmental sustainability and resiliency efforts in response to identified needs and develop project teams to assist with these efforts.
  • Strategy 5.2.2. Establish goals, policies and protocols that work towards achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and increase environmental sustainability and conservation efforts and training across the University, including construction and renovation of buildings, grounds keeping, dining, purchasing, waste management, transportation and others.
  • Strategy 5.2.3. Continue to support student and faculty-led sustainability projects and hands-on learning through initiatives like the Green Fund, seed monies or matching funds, and others.
  • Strategy 5.2.4. Deepen partnerships with local groups and municipalities focused on environmental sustainability and conservation efforts.

Objective 5.3 - Emphasize social sustainability at SU by promoting a resilient community.

  • Strategy 5.3.1. Continue supporting initiatives like Food for the Flock that promote food justice and other types of well-being for our students.
  • Strategy 5.3.2. Improve equality of opportunity and equitable outcomes at SU using the strategies outlined in Goal 2.
  • Strategy 5.3.3. Review and expand University-wide risk management and safety practices.
  • Strategy 5.3.4. Continue to clarify University policies and practices and expectations to meet requirements of federal, state, USM, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and other sanctioned or accrediting bodies.
  • Strategy 5.3.5. Complete the revision of the University Policies website and finalize the adoption of a new policy development and approval process.
  • Strategy 5.3.6. Continue to build on SU’s tradition of shared governance as an effective management model based on transparency and a mutual regard.
  • Strategy 5.3.7. Continue monitoring of compliance and reporting requirements to ensure good standing across many University functions and activities.
  • Strategy 5.3.8. Complete review and revision of Faculty Handbook and transition to digital platform.

Objective 5.4 - Promote economic sustainability by expanding effectiveness and efficiency practices and promoting a transparent process for strategic planning and budgeting.

  • Strategy 5.4.1. Evaluate and ensure the linkage of unit-level strategic plans to the University Strategic Plan.
  • Strategy 5.4.2. Explore ways to integrate the University’s Strategic Plan goals into the performance management process (PMP) and the institutional academic and administrative review process.
  • Strategy 5.4.3. Set and communicate institutional priorities with respect to the University’s Strategic Plan, including budget allocations necessary to achieve them.
  • Strategy 5.4.4. Evaluate our current administrative and financial structures and find opportunities for improved efficiency, such as centralizing or streamlining similar organizational functions, sharing services, and implementing other initiatives to ensure responsible spending and improve our stewardship of fiscal resources.
  • Strategy 5.4.5. Explore ideas for diversifying our revenue stream.
  • Strategy 5.4.6. Continue to emphasize shared governance to promote transparency in the budgeting and decision-making process, and implement ways to make communication between all stakeholders and groups within the SU community more efficient and effective.
  • Strategy 5.4.7. Investigate responsible and sustainable investing opportunities for University and University-related funds.