"Inspired by the UN Brundtland Report's definition of sustainable development, we
define sustainability in education as education for a lifestyle that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the ability of future generations of all species
to meet their needs. (In this, we note the difference between 'needs' and 'desires.')
In accordance with the Naropa University Mission Statement, using contemplative, intellectual,
and practical methods, faculty help students gain the necessary inner and outer tools
and perspectives to engage courageously and compassionately with a complex and changing
world. We aspire to teach students across all disciplines to engender a restorative,
regenerative, and healthy approach to relationships between humans and the rest of
the living, natural world. Our ultimate goal is the co-creation of a just, sacred,
and sustainable society." — Naropa University Faculty Teaching and Learning Commitment
Naropa University is committed to developing sustainability not only in terms of a
greener campus, but also in our teaching and learning. The faculty of Naropa University
aspires to lead in sustainability education as a key element of training future generations.
Our vision is to define sustainability in a contemplative context, including both
its inner and outer aspects. In alignment with Naropa University's agreement to participate
in the Presidents' Climate Commitment, we recognize the vital need to think about
sustainability in a systemic way. Joining with other eco-visionary institutions, we
seek to continuously educate ourselves and update our understanding of best practices
Environmentally Focused Programs
Recent Faculty "Green Papers"
During fall 2012 semester, Naropa's faculty senate, Cauldron, approved the inclusion
of sustainability in Naropa's curricular arc. The outcomes are as follows:
Skillfulness in Addressing Diversity and Ecological Sustainability
Graduates are able to think critically and analytically about social and cultural
diversity; they recognize the interconnectedness of the human community to ecological
sustainability and cultivate sustainable practices.
Ecological Relationships and Sustainability Awareness
- Introductory - Students demonstrate an understanding of principles of ecological interrelationships,
including living systems, complexity and interdependence. They appreciate the need
to live with awareness and respect for one's self, the earth and its inhabitants,
human and nonhuman. Students understand the dynamics and significance of the ecological
crisis and what is meant by different kinds of sustainability.
- Intermediate - Students express connections between their academic work and personal, global, and
local sustainability. They understand sustainability as an expression of appreciation
for the sacredness of the earth and contemplative principles in action.
- Capstone - Students integrate and apply a high level of understanding of different kinds of
sustainability into their academic work, creative expression and community service.
Diversity and Systems of Privilege and Oppression
- Introductory - Students express personal beliefs and assumptions and explain systems of privilege
and oppression at the local, national and global levels. They interpret the intersectionality
of identifiers such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, ability,
and socioeconomic class and how they shape individual and collective identities.
- Intermediate - Students exhibit the ability to hear, connect, empathize with, and engage the different
voices and stories that shape diverse human's experiences.. Students investigate the
intersectionality of diversity, ecological sustainability, academic endeavor and participatory
solutions within their major and intended vocation. Students raise questions about
inclusiveness, privilege and oppression in their academic work.
- Capstone - Students extend their academic inquiry to hear, connect, empathize with and engage
the diverse voices and stories that shape experience. Students incorporate an understanding
of the impact of privilege and oppression in their academic work. They further evaluate
their own assumptions and the assumptions of their field in light of these concerns.
Students appreciate the role of diversity in their academic and creative process.