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ERIC Number: ED513075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-7682-4
Going Green: A Comparative Case Study of How Three Higher Education Institutions Achieved Progressive Measures of Environmental Sustainability
James, Matthew R.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
Leal Filho, MacDermot, and Padgam (1996) contended that post-secondary institutions are well suited to take on leadership responsibilities for society's environmental protection. Higher education has the unique academic freedom to engage in critical thinking and bold experimentation in environmental sustainability (Cortese, 2003). Although there are a number of individual case studies describing "what" certain institutions have done, little research has been conducted using a comparison case study method to examine "how" the institutions achieved their green success. This qualitative case study compared three institutions deemed to have achieved progressive measures of campus sustainability. Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the University of Minnesota, Morris were chosen as the participant institutions and site visits were made to each institution. During site visits, fieldwork and other data collection strategies, including document review, were utilized. Site visits included a campus tour of sustainable practices, on-site observations, and photography. In addition, thorough and in-depth interviews were conducted with selected administration, faculty, staff, and students who played key roles in developing sustainability practices on each respective campus. The study includes narrative descriptions of the comparisons of how each campus achieved progressive measures of sustainability according to the six primary issues impacting campus sustainability. The case studies examined green campus operation measures; campus administration, organization, and leadership; teaching, research, and service; campus-wide actions and activities; institutional assessment of campus sustainability measures; and how each campus overcame barriers. The study found that these institutions share more similarities than contrasts regarding how they achieved progressive measures of campus sustainability. These institutions (1) utilize a facilities-driven approach, (2) use partnering change agents to achieve successful campus green initiatives, (3) foster a culture of environmental awareness, (4) promote activism through educational programming, (5) utilize some form of measured accountability regarding sustainability efforts, and (6) model a financial commitment as an institutional priority and also utilize alternative funding mechanisms to fund campus sustainability projects. The findings of this study will serve as a guide for administrators, faculty, staff, and students of higher education institutions who are interested in creating a truly sustainable campus. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota