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Curriculum and Research

In the face of unprecedented global change, it is increasingly important for individuals to have an understanding of sustainability as a foundation for our future.  Sustainability-focused classroom education, living laboratory experiences, and research will provide students with the knowledge and information they need to be prepared, enlightened, and responsible members of our increasingly complex and diverse global society.


The University of Kansas is committed to an integrated teaching and research environment that encourages innovation, critical thinking, a global perspective, and informed action.


Key achievements in working toward this vision, and the corresponding strategy (in parentheses), include:

Mt Oread

Kelly Kindscher, Environmental Studies Professor and Senior Scientist

at the Kansas Biological Survey, discusses the natural history

of the Lawrence Campus with Oread Project participants.

  • The Oread Project, a professional development workshop supporting the integration of sustainability into the KU curriculum has been held three times since 2013. Thirty-six faculty members representing 7 Schools and 22 departments have taken part in the workshop. A number of interdisciplinary research projects have emerged amongst participants as a result of their collaboration in the Oread Project (CR 1.2.1).
  • Departments such as Urban Planning and Environmental Studies have offered courses that focus on campus-based projects as part of their coursework. Projects have dealt with Prairie Acre restoration, bicycle infrastructure, and redesign of the Spencer Terrace and Dance Pavilion (CR 2.1.3).
  • An undergraduate Sustainability Certificate was launched in spring semester 2016. Students from any discipline or department can enhance their educational experience by gaining knowledge of sustainability concepts through a selection of course work, experiential learning, and a final reflection. (CR 2.1.4).
  • The Commons frequently features sustainability-related research in its Red-Hot Research series, including themes of Climate, Food Research, Politics, and Place, among others (CR 3.1.3)

Coronavirus Update

KU Recycling and KU Surplus have resumed services. As part of our efforts to reduce an on-campus presence and promote social distancing, we will continue to limit special collections that are not mission critical. For updated information on KU's response to COVID-19, visit protect.ku.edu

Sustainability Plan

KU Bike Plan

KU Bike Plan

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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