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. Free online and in-person sustainability training is also available year-round through the UofL EcoReps Program.
- In April 2012, UofL launched a new Professional Development Training Program with sustainability training open to all employees at least once a semester!
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 sessions 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 sessions will also introduce you to UofL’s 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!
In November 2013, 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. More than 150 employees benefited from the salary increase, which represented a 15% raise for our lowest paid employees.
In February 2014, former Provost Shirley Willihnganz approved a proposal to increase UofL's minimum wage by 25 cents per hour per year for the following four years, starting July 2014 and continuing through 2017 – bringing the rate to $11 per hour by July 2017.
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.
Living Wages for Contract Workers
The Living Wage policy adopted in 2013 did not apply to people who work on campus for contractors like food services, the UofL Bookstore, and certain custodial, security and printing services. The Sustainability Council advocated for the extension of the policy to all contract workers as well, and in fall 2015, the student group Cards United Against Sweatshops joined the struggle: Cards United Against Sweatshops meets with UofL administration to demand raising the minimum wage for all contract workers to $10.10/hour (The Louisville Cardinal, Oct. 12, 2015).
Success came in December 2015, when UofL announced that the living wage policy has been extended to all full-time contract workers at the university. UofL officials approved a requirement that companies entering contracts with the university must pay their full-time staff a minimum wage of at least $10.10 per hour. Companies currently doing business with the university will be required to meet the new guidelines when their agreements are renewed. The new policy matched one implemented by the commonwealth’s executive branch in summer 2015 that mandates the higher minimum wage for many state government workers and for employees of companies doing business with the state. Universities were excluded from that policy.
“Full-time contract employees are vital to the success of many operations around the university. Establishing this policy will ensure they can meet their basic life needs and will help our contractors attract and keep outstanding employees. In short, this is simply the right thing to do.” - Harlan Sands, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dec. 16, 2015
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.