UTRGV highlighted in 2016 Sustainable Campus Index

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – OCT. 27, 2016 – UTRGV has been highlighted in the 2016 Sustainable Campus Index “Curriculum” section for its efforts in advancing sustainability in higher education. 

The index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), focuses on innovative and high-impact initiatives from colleges and universities that submitted a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report in the 12 months prior to July 1, 2016.

“Sustainable development at UTRGV is transforming the way we influence all parts of our institution – including student success, community engagement, research, educational opportunities, and health and medical education,” said Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV Provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.  

“This national focus on UTRGV’s work in sustainable development through our academic programs highlights our university’s commitment to innovation, and the high impact our initiatives have on our campus and in our region,” he said. “Through programs such as Project Sin Fronteras, we will equip our students to become recognized leaders in global sustainability. 

Project Sin Fronteras at UTRGV is a project without borders, crossing institutional boundaries and international borders, while transforming sustainability concepts and practices into enriched curriculum and research. This faculty development program provides a two-pronged approach to education for sustainable development:

  • By providing participants with information and skills to produce new or revised sustainability-focused or related courses.
  • And by promoting collaborative, interdisciplinary service-learning projects and connecting student and faculty research with community and study abroad projects.

To date, more than 300 courses have been included in UTRGV academics, supporting the creation of new programs in sustainable food systems, disaster studies and more, with new sustainability-influenced programs currently under development.

AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser said UTRGV’s participation in STARS and its recent accomplishments in the area of curriculum demonstrate “significant leadership and commitment to advancing sustainability.”

“We are pleased to recognize the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for working to secure a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world by incorporating sustainability into campus operations, administration, engagement and academics,” Zahniser said.

Other recent sustainability-related national recognitions for UTRGV include the university’s first rating from the Princeton Review’s Green Schools program and from the Sierra Club’s Cool Schools ranking. 

UTRGV’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website:


For more information about UTRGV’s sustainability efforts and programs, contact Marianella Franklin, chief sustainability officer, at Marianella.franklin@utrgv.edu or call (956) 665-3030.


UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742