What We Do
HEASC seeks to help higher education exert strong leadership in making education, research, and practice for a sustainable society a reality.
HEASC supports its members' work in advancing sustainability by:
- Promoting and enhancing each others' sustainability efforts
- Providing a forum for sharing and exchanging information, knowledge, and experiences
- Building the capacity of higher education associations to make sustainability a goal of their programming and practices
- Enhancing professional development, including training in sustainability for higher education association staff and their constituents
- Reorienting professional development programs to address sustainability
- Connecting higher education associations to the best expertise, resources and information in sustainability for higher education
- Engaging in joint projects, and in projects with other associations and organizations that advance sustainability
See list of HEASC Member Associations
Who We Are
Infographic created by Seann R. Williamson, HEASC Sustainability Fellow, 2012. For a larger version, click on the image below.
HEASC was formed in December 2005 by leaders of several HEAs to support and enhance the capacity of higher education to fulfill its critical role in producing an educated and engaged citizenry and the knowledge needed for a thriving and civil society. These organizations recognize that fulfilling their mission in the 21st century requires a broader, systemic, collaborative approach to their own work and that of the constituents they serve. The societal challenges to create vibrant, secure communities and strong economies while preserving the life support system on which we all depend are daunting and will only increase as the world's population and our need to increase economic output grows.
HEASC's purpose is to learn from each other, work together on joint projects, get access to the best expertise and information on sustainability, and to keep a collective, ongoing focus on advancing education for a sustainable future over time.
We hope that this exciting development will help move sustainability to the center stage in higher education and enhance the considerable work that has been and is being done by students, faculty, operational staff and administrators in hundreds of colleges and universities to make a healthy, just and sustainable future a goal of all learning and practice.
As HEASC's coordinating agency, AASHE works to:
- Assist HEASC and each member association in defining and launching new sustainability projects
- Provide guidance and access to resources that can help members carry out projects
- Organize and facilitate HEASC quarterly and annual meetings
- Coordinate and distribute notes after each quarterly meeting with information on what members are doing and examples of new ideas/models/projects in higher education sustainability
- Maintain a website that highlights member sustainability news and HEASC projects
The primary contacts are Jillian Buckholz, HEASC coordinator and AASHE's director of resources and publications, and Debra Rowe, HEASC consultant and President of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development.
HEASC Partner Initiatives
- AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
HEASC is one of the founding partners of STARS. AASHE developed the system in response to a call from HEASC in 2006 for a standardized sustainability rating system for higher education institutions.
- American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
HEASC is an official endorser of the ACUPCC, a high-visibility effort to make campuses more sustainable and address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to reduce and ultimately neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on campus. The ACUPCC is managed by Second Nature
- Campaign for Environmental Literacy
- Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS)
DANS is an informal network of professional associations working on curricula, standards and tenure requirements to reflect sustainability, educating the public about sustainability; legislative briefings on what higher education can bring to sustainability related policies, and cross-disciplinary projects on education for sustainability. DANS is sponsored by the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. See DANS Resources.