UofL strives to provide professional development in sustainability, compensate employees fairly, provide for basic needs, promote health & wellness and treat everyone with dignity.
UofL actively seeks to be a truly Great Place to Work, where faculty and staff are treated fairly, given a voice in governance, and encouraged to get actively involved in making the University a place of ever greater health, wellness, and sustainability.
- In spring 2014, the university made free, UofL-specific, online Sustainability training available to all faculty and staff through Blackboard's University Wide Training Resources. Instructions for accessing the Sustainability module are available here.
- In April 2012, UofL launched a new Professional Development Training Program with sustainability training open to all employees every other month!
- Professional Development in Sustainability for all UofL Employees
This dynamic and engaging series of sessions led by experts in the field provide all employees with a helpful introduction to the basic principles of sustainability and how to apply them in professional and personal decision-making at work and at home. This on-going series of professional development sessiosn has been designed to offer staff and faculty at any level with a wide variety of practical tips that you can use to help UofL shift our culture towards become better stewards of the environment while saving money and helping build a brighter tomorrow for society. Attendees will better understand UofL's commitment to sustainability and learn how each step we take contributes to big results for us individually, for the university, and for the broader community. The session will also introduce you to UofL’s new Eco-Reps Program, which gives you the opportunity to go deeper with follow-up trainings online, a certification, group and individual service projects, and the empowerment of becoming a point-person for sustainability in your unit. Registration and details here.
- In Fall 2012, the Sustainability Council launched an Eco-Reps program, providing in-depth campus sustainability training and certification for all students, faculty, and staff willing to become a point-person for peer-to-peer mentoring about sustainability in their building, unit, department, or residence hall. Interested persons should contact Brian Barnes <brian.barnes (at) louisville.edu>. More details here.
- Since July 2009, every Monday’s day-long New Employee Orientation (required for all full-time university employees) has included a module on sustainability at UofL and the Partnership for a Green City. All new employees are asked to sign the Cards Go Green! pledge, committing to at least three actions to reduce their environmental impact; and encouraged to look for ways they can help the University enhance its sustainability as they settle into their new positions.
- Sustainability information is also distributed during July’s New Faculty Orientations, including the Cards Go Green! pledge and details about specific projects faculty and students can get involved in to help transform UofL into a living laboratory for sustainability.
- Our Get Healthy Now (GHN) program promotes university-wide wellness through a wide variety of initiatives. GHN regularly celebrates the successes of UofL employees and secures awards & recognitions for the University in many capacities. In 2010, UofL was honored as Louisville’s Healthiest Employer in the 5,000+ employee category and received an award for being the Most Physically Active Worksite based on participation in Kentuckiana Metro on the Move's Fall 2010 Challenge.
- University of Louisville has been officially smoke-free on all three of our campuses since November 18th, 2010. We continue to provide Smoking Cessation Classes for employees and share success stories of employees living their lives smoke-free.
- Monthly Happenings & Highlights communicate the comprehensive offerings of the GHN program. Learn more about our programs and offerings. Up-to-date information can always be found on the GHN website and via Facebook and Twitter.
- In 2012, as a direct result of UofL's Train-the-Trainers Program, funded by a Paula Nye Memorial Education Grant from the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission, Get Healthy Now is offering Safe Cycling Classes
for all UofL employees and participants in the Get Healthy Now program:
Location: Crawford Gym, Room 15
April 3 - May 8, 2012: Fridays, 11:00 a.m.
July 6 - August 10, 2012: Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m.
August 2 - November 6, 2012: Thursdays, 12:00 p.m.
The class is designed as a guide to various aspects of safety, such as basic equipment maintenance, skills, and rules of the road. The content is based on the League of American Bicyclists' national BikeEd program. This central idea of this class is "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." Safe Cycling will help you to become a cyclist who rides with greater safety and confidence. Get Healthy Now encourages participants to ride bicycles for fun, fitness, and transportation, leading to a happier and healthier person, planet, and safer environment for all.
These new bike safety classes were made possible by funds generated through the purchase of "Share the Road" license plates by Kentucky motorists!
UofL Commits to Continue Increasing Living Wage (UofL Today, 2/26/14)
UofL became the first public Kentucky university to establish a living wage when it increased its minimum salary for regular status staff employees from $8.67 to $10 per hour in November 2013. More than 150 employees benefited from the increase.
In February 2014, Provost Shirley Willihnganz approved a proposal to increase UofL's minimum wage by 25 cents per hour per year for the next four years, starting this July and continuing in 2015, 16, and 17 – bringing the rate to $11 per hour by July 2017.
“Living wage adjustments during 2013 represented a 15 percent salary increase for our lowest paid employees,” said Sam Connally, vice president for human resources. “For many, this has made a tangible difference in being able to meet the necessities of daily living with more confidence and less stress. The scheduled increases from $10 to $11 represent an additional guaranteed increase of 10 percent over the next four years.”
Defined as the minimum hourly pay necessary for employees to afford the average cost of living in their community, including housing, food and transportation, the living wage varies by location. Employees earning the minimum will be eligible for additional compensation if, in a given year, the university’s total salary pool for the year exceeds the living wage adjustment for that year.
“Employees at the lower end of the salary scale are responsible for keeping our buildings and grounds and labs in tip top shape and make the work and study environment for faculty, staff, and employees enjoyable, clean, hospitable and safe,” Connally said. “The implementation of a living wage recognizes the hard work of these employees and represents a tangible commitment on the part of the university that we will do our part to recognize your contributions to the university.”
A Message from President Ramsey re: Living Wage
November 08, 2013
I am happy to announce that as of Nov. 1, UofL has adopted a “living wage” program increasing the minimum salary for regular staff employees to $10 per hour.
A living wage is generally described as the hourly wage an employee must earn to afford the basic necessities of daily living, based on the cost of living in his or her community. This is not a one-time raise, but rather a strategy to ensure our employees can meet those needs now and in the future.
Over the last 18 months, the university has gradually increased the minimum hourly rate for its lowest-salaried employees from $8.67 an hour to $10 an hour. It started with a recommendation to the Provost by the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality and the Faculty and Staff senates. These groups continue to work for the benefit of all our faculty and staff, and I want to thank them for their efforts.
We are funding these increases with savings incurred through our health insurance program. As you know, the university is self-insured. Through strong management of our resources and thanks in part to the success of our Get Healthy Now program, we have been able to reallocate savings from that insurance program to this important initiative – without raising rates or cutting back on health benefits.
The first public university in Kentucky to implement a living wage, UofL once again is leading the way among higher education institutions. We have been the leader in implementing Kentucky’s higher education reform. We were the first to develop diversity plans, the first to provide health insurance to domestic partners, the first to follow the minority and female hiring practices of the Louisville Arena Authority and the first to partner with our local public schools and Simmons College of Kentucky to address education gaps by developing a meaningful clinical model of teacher education.
I want to thank Provost Shirley Willihnganz and Sam Connally, vice president for human resources, for their leadership in finding a way to fund this important initiative. I also again want to thank the senates and the commissions for their strong support of the program.
The establishment of a living wage is just another reason it’s great to be a Louisville Cardinal.
The Early Learning Campus (ELC) is part of the Gladys and Lewis "Sonny" Bass Louisville Scholar House Campus and is an exemplary pre-school for children of UofL faculty, staff and students, and residents of the Louisville Scholar House. The facility offers extended day opportunities for children aged six weeks to four years.
The ELC is located at the corner of 5th and Bloom Streets, across the street from the northwest corner of UofL's Belknap Campus. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Take a tour!
- According to our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, roughly 10% of UofL's carbon footprint is due solely to commuting to campus. With the vast majority of commuters driving alone to campus, this represents not only a significant carbon footprint, but a considerable waste of people's time, money, and opportunities for community-building and civic engagement. Providing and maintaining roads and parking for commuters also represents a considerable strain on the University's land and budgetary resources.
- At New Employee Orientation, we encourage everyone to consider living close enough to campus that they can walk or bike to work with ease.
UofL officials join private developer for HSC-area residence groundbreaking (UofL Today, March 9, 2012)
- As part of our Climate Action Plan, and in line with our overarching goals of creating more vibrant, livable, walkable, bike-friendly neighborhoods around our campuses, UofL is continuing its efforts to make living close to campus an attractive option for students, faculty and staff.
- The Sustainability Council is in discussion with area developers about providing mixed-use, mixed-income, environmentally-friendly housing for employees close to campus. One such project, known as The Edge at Liberty Green, will provide such housing within blocks of our Health Sciences Center and within biking distance of Belknap Campus. Development continues on hundreds of units of various green-designed housing types and sizes for both purchase or rent. The Sustainability Council invites everyone in the UofL community to explore this exciting, new option in low-impact, healthy, urban living!
UofL encourages employees to get involved in university-wide decision-making through a variety of channels:
- Staff Senate
- Faculty Senate - Submit your comments.
- Employee Suggestion Program - Submit a suggestion.
- Sustainability Council
UofL offers employees socially responsible investment options for employee retirement plans. These options are designed to give you investment income for a secure retirement while putting money behind companies you can feel good about. Options include:
- CREF Social Choice Account - Invests only in companies that are suitable from a financial perspective and whose activities are consistent with the account's social criteria. Using specific environmental, social and governance criteria, the evaluation process favors companies that are: strong stewards of the environment; committed to serving local communities where they operate and to human rights and philanthropy; devoted to higher labor standards; and those managed in an exemplary and ethical manner. Details here.
- Fidelity Select Environmental Portfolio (00516) - A growth mutual fund that seeks to provide capital appreciation by primarily investing at least 80% of its assets in the common stocks of companies principally engaged in the research, development, manufacture, or distribution of products, processes, or services related to waste management, pollution control or reduction, conservation or improving the environment, or other environmental concerns. Details here.
More information about UofL's employee benefits and our human resources policies are available here.