October 24, 2016
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Very Few Blacks In The New Field Of Sustainability

DENVER —  As national unemployment rates hovered near 10 percent in 2010, the demand for sustainability staff on higher education campuses continued to grow. Despite the tough economic climate, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2010 survey of campus sustainability staff reveals a workforce of people who report a sense of job security and feel satisfied with the work they are doing.

AASHE’s "Higher Education Sustainability Staffing Survey" is an effort to provide the campus sustainability community with a greater understanding of sustainability-related positions. The online survey of campus sustainability staff was conducted in winter 2010. The results build and expand upon previous surveys by AASHE that focused on sustainability officers specifically. The 2010 survey was expanded to include a greater range of job titles related to sustainability.

“During the past five years we have seen more campus leaders show their commitment to sustainability by creating new sustainability positions,” said Paul Rowland, AASHE Executive Director. “Moreover, the people in these positions are finding them to be satisfying jobs that make a difference.”

With 433 completed surveys, the results offer a comprehensive look at the demographics, roles, salaries and positions of college and university sustainability-related staff in the U.S. and Canada.

A few notable findings include:

• Of the 433 positions represented in this survey, only 49 had been created prior to 2004, indicating an exponential growth of campus sustainability in recent years.

• An overwhelming majority (89 percent) of respondents are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their position.

• The vast majority (84 percent) of respondents rated their level of job security as either “secure” or “very secure.”

• The median salary for “sustainability director or chief sustainability officer” ($75,000) was the highest of all campus sustainability position types. Median salaries for most other positions fell between $40,000 and $50,000.

• At 81 percent, general/operating funds are by far the most cited funding source for sustainability positions.

• Campus sustainability staff are overwhelmingly white (92 percent) and nearly 60 percent are women.

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. 


STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News


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