The University of Texas at Austin
Skip navigation links

$9,000 Awarded in Course Development Competition

In collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, the Center for Core Curriculum is pleased to congratulate our course award competition winners. Two grand prizes were given: one $6,000 award to create a new course and one $3,000 award to convert an existing course. Both courses will address ethical issues through a sustainability framework.

Dr. William S. Swearingen of the Department of Sociology won the $6,000 Course Development Competition, which he will use to create SOC 321K: Building the Sustainable City. Dr. Gregory Knapp, from the Department of Geography, won a $3,000 Course Conversion Award, which will allow him to enhance the ethics and sustainability components of his UGS 303: Latin America: Environmental History and Sustainability course (a Signature Course). Many outstanding proposals were offered smaller amounts.

Sustainability

Sustainability is commonly understood to require a balanced pursuit of ecological health, social equity, and economic welfare. The pursuit of sustainability is grounded in an ethical commitment to the well-being of not only current populations, but also future generations. Ethics and sustainability courses should explicitly frame and address content in real-world terms by giving students the opportunity to apply content to questions or problems that are relevant to their adult and professional lives. An ethics and sustainability lens is broadly applicable to courses across the curriculum including topics such as environmental ethics, climate science, resource management, energy efficiency and technology, transportation and planning, as well as courses that speak to the history and philosophy of environmentalism, economic development, social justice, communication, and psychology.

Competition Details

Courses could cover a wide array of topics but in all cases must meet the requirements for the Ethics and Leadership flag. Awards were determined by a joint panel of members from the Ethics and Leadership Flag Committee, the Academic Subcommittee of the President’s Sustainability Steering Committee, and the Center for the Core Curriculum.

Requirements for New Course

A proposed new course must

  • be a course that has never been previously taught
  • incorporate sustainability as a distinct and significant course component/module or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue throughout the course, i.e., the study of what is involved in ethically addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges
  • meet the criteria for the Ethics and Leadership flag
  • be offered at least three times beginning with either the fall 2013 or spring 2014 semester (preference was given to courses that are designed to be a regular part of the department’s course offerings)

Requirements for Course Conversion

A proposed course conversion must

  • substantially adjust the course to include sustainability and ethics content
  • incorporate sustainability as a distinct and significant course component/module or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue throughout the course, i.e., the study of what is involved in ethically addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges
  • meet the criteria for the Ethics and Leadership flag, but not already carry the flag
  • be offered at least three times beginning with either the fall 2013 or spring 2014 semester (preference was given to courses that are designed to be a regular part of the department’s course offerings)

Written by: 
Julia Moskow Ferguson