UCSC 10-Year Strategic Plan

June 15, 2023

By Derek Martin 


In the summer of 2022, Chancellor Cindy Larive launched an ambitious goal: create a 10-year strategic plan to lead the UCSC campus into the future. 

The kick-off of 5 strategic planning pillar committees in October 2022 began a 7-month journey to develop a strategic plan. One of these pillars is dedicated to Climate Change, Sustainability and Resilience and the committee supporting this pillar pulled together faculty, staff, and students across a diverse array of disciplines and units. 

Dr. Sikina Jinnah, environmental studies professor and Elida Erickson, sustainability director, co-chaired the Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resilience committee which was charged to:

  • Identify ways that UCSC can create and sustain a campus climate and culture that reduces environmental impacts while centering inclusive sustainability.
  • Propose undergraduate and graduate student learning opportunities.
  • Identify emerging or new collaborative interdisciplinary research areas related to climate change, climate justice, and resilience.
  • Recommend high level strategies to evaluate and reduce the environmental impacts of meeting the university's mission on our campus and local community. 
  • Recommend strategies to improve climate resilience on campus.

Through an extensive 3-month series of campus engagement sessions, the committee analyzed data from 3,300 members of the campus community through a campus-wide survey and reached another 778 campus communityclass-outdoors-480.jpg members through targeted engagements via feedback sessions with campus leaders, students, key academic and operational partners and various curricular and co-curricular groups/organizations across campus. 

This feedback along with the expertise of the committee culminated in a draft report delivered to the Chancellor in April 2023. It identified 7 goals across operations, teaching, and research to meet the committee’s charge. The draft goals include:

  1. Build communities of care, resilience, and preparedness in the face of climate change.
  2. Decarbonize UCSC to build an equitable, accessible, and fossil-free future.
  3. Steward the water & land to support healthy social & environmental ecosystems.
  4. Advance a circular economy in the consumption cycle.
  5. Ensure all students graduate with a transdisciplinary understanding of climate change grounded in justice, experiential learning, and diverse approaches to knowledge.
  6. Expand, value, and incentivize collaborative, solution-oriented, justice-centered, and diverse research approaches to climate change and sustainability. 
  7. With an ethos of reciprocity and respect, forge relationships with Indigenous peoples/organizations, which enable the co-production of knowledge and action plans towards climate justice.

“I am thrilled that our robust committee of expert faculty, staff and students at UCSC proposed such asolar-east.500.jpgcomprehensive set of goals to our campus’ leadership”, said Elida Erickson, sustainability director. “This is an exciting opportunity to further build effective collaborations with the community, and create healthier social and environmental ecosystems that increase sustainability across all of our research, academics, and operations.”


The draft report for the Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resilience Committee, along with the other strategic planning pillar reports, can be read here and public feedback on the reports is open until June 30th.