About & History


The Sustainability Knowledge Community was approved by the NASPA Board of Directors in 2009. The SKC has developed a robust team that is providing membership support, publishing a quarterly newsletter, developing partnerships, determining awards selection criteria for an annual award to be presented by our KC, developing regional communities, and much more! As a knowledge community, our vision is to see sustainability instituted within student affairs. Our goals are to educate, activate, and provide an organizational foundation for the pursuit of sustainability within student affairs and among student development professionals. We hope that you join us in this cause through support, sharing your experiences and efforts, or providing leadership.


Through the work of the Sustainability Knowledge Community, Student Affairs professionals will take a leadership role in modeling and teaching sustainability in higher education. Each NASPA campus will identify practices and people (students, faculty and staff, as well as resources outside of the academy) committed to environmentally friendly practices, sustainable living, ethical & civic engagement, and related social justice issues. These individuals will work to advance awareness and education related to these subjects, to develop plans for embedding principles and practices across the breadth of Student Affairs organizational units and to establish goals and outcomes to assess progress.


The Sustainability Knowledge Community will advance sustainability practices through the education and activation of its members.

  • Education - provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge regarding important aspects of sustainability issues related to the field of Student Affairs. Maximize links with other NASPA Knowledge Communities where topics of interest intersect.
  • Activation - disseminate sustainability “best practices” related to life on college campuses and enduring lifestyle decisions.
  • Leadership: assist Student Affairs personnel to be leaders on their campus regarding sustainability practices and to advance student, faculty and staff interest and participation in sustainability practices.
  • Engagement: assist/provide opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to become actively engaged in the process of creating sustainable campuses and communities through service.
  • Innovative practices: develop innovative practices to be shared among member campuses.
  • Social justice: disseminate knowledge and awareness of the interconnection of sustainability with social justice principles and practices.
  • Communities of Practice: provide opportunities for collaborative information exchange and development of best Student Affairs sustainability practices between campuses.
  • Institutionalization: develop frameworks and organizational approaches to embedding sustainability within the operations of all Student Affairs units.
  • Campus Collaboration - develop strategies for collaborating with university operations, student leaders, faculty and staff, as well as community partners and non-traditional campus stakeholders.
  • Inter-Associational Relationships - Build explicit connections to other professional higher education associations, where issues of sustainability are addressed, e.g. AASHE, ACPA, AACC, NACUBO, ACCRAO, ACU-I, NIRSA, ACUHO-I, NACAS, NACA, NODA and HEASC. Create increased synergy around these efforts. Solicit participation from diverse aspects of Student Affairs and strengthen connections to sustainability initiatives at other Student Affairs conferences.
  • Organizational consistency - Assist NASPA as an organization to be more sustainable in the delivery of services, programs and products (i.e. green conferencing techniques, the use of recycled supplies, etc.), including the possibility of assisting in developing an official NASPA statement of sustainable practices.