The University of Utah (The U) is the state’s public flagship institution of higher education with an enrollment of approximately 24,735 undergraduate and 8,251 graduate students, and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the 115 research universities with the “highest research activity” in the nation. Forbes recently ranked the University of Utah as one of America’s best employers and U.S. News & World Report ranked it as one of the best national universities.
As one of the core values of the University of Utah, the U contributes to more a sustainable world through research, teaching, and demonstrating best practices in protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment on the campus and environs—making it a great place to live, learn, work, play, create, recreate, and visit (https://president.utah.edu/universitystrategy).
The University’s Sustainability Office was created in 2007 and in 2008 the University of Utah joined the President’s Climate Commitment with a charge to develop “an institutional plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and expand the University’s research and educational efforts related to sustainability.” The Sustainability Office was moved (organizationally) from Facilities Management to Academic Affairs in 2014 and has been under interim and part-time CSO leadership since that time. This search of an inaugural CSO position demonstrates the University’s commitment to sustainability.
In April 2019, the University’s president signed an updated President’s Climate Leadership Commitment which incorporates resilience and provides a systems-approach to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate. Also in the spring of 2019, a student-led resolution to form a Presidential Task Force on Carbon Neutrality was passed through the University’s Academic Senate.
The U is located in the Wasatch mountain range foothills overlooking Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake, and the Great Basin’s west desert. Salt Lake City was recently ranked in the top ten in economic growth among large metropolitan areas. The area offers unparalleled recreational opportunities, with ten world-class ski resorts and several national parks within easy access from the city, as well as an active arts culture. Additionally, SLC is currently ranked 8th in the nation for its vibrant LGBTQ+ community. More information about the Salt Lake City area can be found at www.visitsaltlake.com.