President Spaniolo approves initial Sustainability Agenda

Kicking the Mavericks Go Green campaign into high gear, Pres. James Spaniolo has approved the university’s first Sustainability Agenda, a package of 89 actions that will involve students, faculty, and staff across the campus in protecting the environment. The agenda ensures that UT Arlington will continue to be a leader in campus sustainability in North Texas and across the state even as a more comprehensive set of goals and strategies is being developed in the coming months.


When the President’s Sustainability Committee was launched in October 2007, one of its initial moves was creation of a comprehensive set of work groups. In turn, one of the groups’ early objectives was development of a preliminary agenda to improve the university’s campus-wide environmental performance, consider how to extend the environmental curriculum, and deepen campus engagement in North Texas environmental affairs. The groups submitted recommendations to Pres. James Spaniolo and Vice Pres. John Hall in March 2008; and the President and Vice President issued decisions on these recommendations in April and May 2008. The Sustainability Agenda consists of 77 approved actions to be carried out in the coming months (some pending approval of funding) and 12 preliminary actions that the work groups and various campus units have already largely accomplished in recent months.


A small sample of approved actions:


  • ♦ hiring a Sustainability Director to facilitate the work of the President’s Sustainability Committee and sustainability efforts across campus;
  • ♦ exploring ways to green the university’s curriculum and research;
  • ♦ extending implementation of energy conservation measures;
  • ♦ hiring student interns to undertake a thorough ecological landscape assessment;
  • ♦ encouraging formation of an active student environmental organization;
  • ♦ supporting student involvement in programs such as the Campus Climate Challenge ( and Ecomagination Challenge (
  • ♦ increasing use of recycled paper for stationery, letterhead, business cards, and copy paper;
  • ♦ developing purchasing guidelines on energy efficiency of new computers, photocopiers, televisions, and other electronics;
  • ♦ working with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to develop an advertising campaign to educate the UT Arlington community on air quality issues;
  • ♦ developing an employee carpooling program; and
  • ♦ pilot testing a program for recycling goods and materials when students move out of residence halls in May each year.

Members of the university community are invited to offer feedback to assist the work groups in revising and extending the Sustainability Agenda during subsequent rounds of recommendations. Please contact the chairs of the appropriate work groups.


Sustainability Agenda (with list of work groups and their chairs).

Press release 

AASHE announcement

3 Responses to “President Spaniolo approves initial Sustainability Agenda”

  • Our group is attempting to stop a university campus being build in a pristine greenfield site. We are proposing Lakehead U campus be used as a catalyst for revitalizing the city of Orillia, Ontario, Canada downtown core, given there already exists serviced greyfield and brownfield sites screaming for remediation.

    link to media site

  • It is great to see that students being encouraged to think about sustainability. After all this is not an issue to be dealt only by the corporate sector. Everybody has a role to play. We at Mahindra consider sustainability to be one of our primary objectives.

  • I would urge that the shuttle bus link to the TRE station in Irving that once existed be reestablished. For the shuttle to be successful this time, several things must be done: (1) increased operating hours are requrired, recognizing that faculty and students do not have 9-5 schedule; (2) the shuttle should run every 20 minutes; (3) the shuttle must be extensively publicized, not merely in a one-shot campaign, but on a continual basis. The shuttle would be a complement – not a replacement – to any carpool program. It is a needed component, for it allows faculty and students the flexibility needed when last-minute items occur during the course of a day; items that wreak havoc on any carpooling schedule. Carpooling works wonderfully for those who have regular working hours (such as staff members), but it is ill-suited to the realities of academic life. If the effort begins now to reestablish a shuttle program, perhaps it could be in place for the fall. If the university commits to such a program, it must take along-term approach and be prepared to give it time to grow.

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