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Faculty Learning Communities

To provide opportunities for faculty to come together to share and develop ideas, the Office of the Provost supports Faculty Learning Communities from across the University of Richmond’s five schools. Each Faculty Learning Community (FLC) encourages interdisciplinary engagement with projects that are germane to the institution’s mission and the greater good of the University, the City of Richmond, the nation, and the world.

FLC cohorts engage in collaborative year-long projects that reflect the breadth and depth of UR faculty and staff commitment to both producing and expanding the frontiers of knowledge and education for the common good.

2019-2020: Environmental Humanities

We propose an interdisciplinary, cross-school FLC focused around the Environmental Humanities. While there is a great deal of interest in sustainability and climate change on campus, UR has not yet developed a coordinated curriculum in the rapidly emerging field of Environmental Humanities. Our FLC would gather a group of faculty interested in exploring the field together and in developing new, possibly interrelated classes that might build opportunities for further research, teaching, and collaboration. 

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2018-2019: Fostering an Environmentally Literate Faculty

In the last decade, the University of Richmond has made significant strides towards sustainability. The signing of the 2007 American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, and the 2015 American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge bracketed the creation of an active and forward thinking Office for Sustainability. This office leads the University’s efforts design and implement our strategic plan’s fifth value, “Stewardship in a Changing World. The first initiative under stewardship reads, “Complete and implement a Sustainability Strategic Plan to further weave responsible environmental stewardship into the fabric of the University.” The curriculum is an integral part of the fabric of the University and essential to the successful integration of sustainability and stewardship. However, the University’s 2016 Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Report for the Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) earned only a 45% grade under the critically important “Curriculum” category. In particular, we scored low on learning outcomes and academic courses. This FLC responds directly to the University’s initiative to weave environmental stewardship into the university by strategizing ways for our faculty to incorporate sustainability into their coursework and learning outcomes and to weave sustainability across our curriculum as we increase exposure through experiential, community-based, and other high impact practices.

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2017-2018: Environmental Stewardship in a Changing World

The University of Richmond’s (UR) Strategic Plan’s Vision Statement reads, “The University will be a leader in higher education, preparing students to contribute to, and succeed in, a complex world; producing knowledge to address the world’s problems; and modeling the way that colleges and universities can effectively meet the challenges of our time.”  Scholars who study the environment overwhelmingly recognize climate change as the greatest challenge of the times, and universities are critically important to increasing awareness of climate change and to modeling how students might mitigate and adapt to this challenge.  The University of Richmond’s fifth value, stewardship in a changing world, seeks to, “...further weave responsible environmental stewardship into the fabric of the University.”  This FLC responds directly to the University’s new vision and values by defining environmental stewardship and strategizing ways to incorporate this value more deeply through our university.

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2016-2017: Climate Change REMAP at UR

Our FLC looks to REMAP our role as educators in responding to an environmental crisis that threatens our species’ ability to flourish. Global climate change represents one of the most pressing issues that UR students will face. If, as our university mission statement claims, UR wants to prepare “students to live lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry and responsible leadership in a global and pluralistic society,” then we need to include explicit education on the topic of climate disruption.

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