Reflecting on AASHE (with shout-outs!)

Presenting three talks at two very different conferences in a span of six days is a lot of input, particularly when the audiences have such different lenses on our common causes: improving our higher education institutions. This post is about the first conference (AASHE); in a separate post I’ll write about CUPA-HR.

At the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE, aashe.org) in Pittsburgh (Oct 3),  I talked with with an interesting mix of students, faculty, and staff in a variety of different roles. The conference theme was the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and there was heightened sense of urgency to take action on climate change was palpable; this past Monday the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its landmark report Global Warming of 1.5º C is sobering about what needs to be done.

This was my third consecutive year presenting at this conference; for folks unfamiliar with AASHE it is very broad “tent” with a primary emphasis toward environmental sustainability. The expo hall includes everything from electric cars/carts to customized recycling containers to bike share and campus scooter programs to carbon-footprint tracking and academic programs in sustainability from many different perspectives. There’s a whole lot of green building going on out there!

The sizable area of poster sessions at AASHE included everything from thermostat control initiatives (Wesleyan U) to “blender bikes” (Ohio U) to making “bag boards” from compressed plastic bags (UNC-Wilmington). Social sustainability – such as the focus of my project – is a bit of a niche within AASHE. If audience size from year to year is any indication, it is an area of growing interest – and concern – in American higher education. I was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to our ongoing conversation.

It was a lot of fun to explore my material from different perspectives in each of my two AASHE talks. My introductory session on living wage policies attracted a number of students, and an intermediate level session for people familiar with the living wage concept, where were able to talk in greater detail about what I’ve learned so far through this project and compare notes with practitioners. And some folks came for both (you know who you are – thank you!).

Between the two sessions, I was able to chat with a public policy graduate student from just down the street here in Philadelphia, sustainability coordinators from coast to coast (and all points in between), and adjunct and tenure track faculty in public and private institutions.

I’m looking forward to continuing to work with AASHE, and I’ll keep you posted here whenever I have significant news. Next year’s AASHE conference is in Spokane WA, October 27-30, 2019. I hope to see you there.

Second presentation added @ AASHE 2018

My talk “A Primer on Living Wage Policies and Just Employment” was upgraded from a poster session to a presentation and added to the 2018 AASHE Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh. The presentation is Wednesday October 3 at 8:30 am in Convention Center 317. This is a 30-minute compact “on-ramp” for anyone who wants to learn about living wage policies and just employment.

And if you want to learn more, later that morning, I’ll be presenting “This Justice In: Updated Results From the Living Wage Policy Study” at 11:30 (also in Convention Center 317). I’ve revised my earlier post about AASHE (from July) to reflect the new information.

If you’re attending AASHE, or would like to connect in Pittsburgh, please drop me a note (weidner@sju.edu)!

Living Wage Policy Study – Data collection for Phase 2 and 3 data is underway

We’ve begun collecting data for Phase 2 Living Wage Policies) and Phase 3 (Living Wage Practices) of the Living Wage Policy Study. I’m personally sending an email to the Chief Human Resource Officer of every four year public and private non-profit college and university in the 50 states and DC, inviting them to participate in the study and to benefit from participating by receiving our research results in advance of their publication.

The survey takes no more than 5-10 minutes to complete. All invitations to participate in the survey are sent from my email: weidner@sju.edu. The survey is hosted on Qualtrics (qualtrics.com), and invitees are provided a secure link to the survey.

Based on participants’ survey responses, institutions with living wage policies are asked to submit their institution’s policy (if you wish, we’ll redact all identifications of your institution), while institutions with living wage practices are asked to be interviewed (about 30 minutes) about their practices. For either phase of the study, institutions will not be identified in our research results and reports.

If you are a CHRO and haven’t received an invitation to participate in the survey, please email me: weidner@sju.edu.

If you aren’t a CHRO, please encourage your CHRO to look for the survey and complete it. Living wage policies and practices are an increasingly important subject that higher education institutions will likely need to address, either sooner or later – but we can’t learn about HR practices in higher education without your help!

Thank you!

2018 AASHE presentations (updated 9/19)

Updated (Sep 18 2018): AASHE asked if I’d be willing to convert my poster session (announced below in July) to a presentation – and of course I’m delighted to do so. This post has been the edited to reflect the current information on both presentations.

More good news. I’ve had two proposals accepted for presentation at the 2018 AASHE Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh (October 2-4). I’m delighted because AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, aashe.org) is a rapidly growing organization centered on higher education, and brings together everyone from students to staff to academics, all acting on their commitments to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that inspired the theme to this year’s conference, “Global Goals: Rising to the Challenge.”

Both presentations are on Wednesday, October 3:

A Primer on Living Wage Policies and Just Employment(8:30-9:00 am, Convention Center 317).

This presentation is a compact introduction to living wage and just employment issues.

This Justice In: Updated Results From the Living Wage Policy Study(11:30-12:30, Convention Center 317) 

This presentation begins at a more intermediate level and provides me more time to work with participants during my session presentation.

My engagement with AASHE began in October 2016 with my first AASHE conference presentation (with Elizabeth Sohmer in Baltimore), and put me on the path toward this project.

If you’re attending AASHE, or would like to connect in Pittsburgh, please drop me a note!

2018 CUPA-HR presentation

Updated July 12 with presentation date and time

Today I received word that my presentation proposal “When is it Time for a Living Wage Policy?” has been accepted for presentation to the 2018 CUPA-HR Annual Conference, in Indianapolis October 7-9. I’m delighted because CUPA-HR (College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, cupahr.org) is vibrant organization drawing HR professionals from across the spectrum of public and private higher education institutions. My presentation time is 11 am on Monday October 8; if you are attending CUPA-HR, please stop by. I hope to see you there.