Skip to main content
Working Smarter
Creating a Leaner yet Stronger university
Bookmark and Share

Being a respectful and responsible steward of the public’s trust is vitally important. That’s why UT Arlington is committed to protecting both its natural and financial resources. The University has instituted a sustainability program that provides practical applications for everyday life and academic programs to help discover long-term solutions. We’ve also implemented cost-reduction measures and maintain sound budgetary practices that help us work more efficiently without sacrificing quality or slowing our progress toward becoming a major national research university. 

John Hall, Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations; Bill Poole, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Operations
Conservation equals savings

UT Arlington has a green equation for energy: 5.04 million square feet serviced for $13.8 million, which equates to $2.74 per square foot per year. John Hall, left, vice president for administration and campus operations, and Bill Poole, assistant vice president for facilities management and campus operations, oversee the University’s energy-saving initiatives. For electricity, UT Arlington partners with eight other institutions for a group rate. Natural gas is bought directly from a wholesale distributor, resulting in a much lower cost. Recently completed energy-performance measures guarantee $1.7 million in annual savings for nine years. “Our first-year savings was $2.2 million,” Hall says, “so we’re a half-million ahead.” Small practices, such as turning off computer monitors at night, and larger measures, such as managing cooling and heating run times and set points, contribute to the efficiency. New buildings are being designed to meet LEED certification requirements, and existing buildings are retrofitted with energy-efficient components like compact fluorescent light bulbs. All of this should be no surprise, Poole says. UT Arlington has been implementing energy-saving initiatives since 1974.

computer monitor shows Maverick Ideas website

BRIGHT IDEAS COME FROM WITHIN

Last summer UT Arlington began drawing even more heavily on its greatest resource: the minds of faculty and staff. The Maverick Ideas website, uta.ideascale.com,  was launched to provide an avenue for faculty and staff to suggest and discuss ideas to improve the University, such as cutting costs, reducing waste, and enhancing learning. President James D. Spaniolo and the University’s senior leadership team review the suggestions, and some—such as cutting back on printing and mailing hold-the-date cards—already have been implemented. 

unspecified graphs and charts

BUDGETARY SAVINGS WITH PURPOSE

Universities nationwide are facing budget cuts, and UT Arlington is no exception. “Our approach is to develop logical and creative solutions and to maintain a clear and unwavering focus on our top priorities,” President James D. Spaniolo says. Faced with state-mandated budget reductions, the University implemented a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program to achieve immediate and long-term savings in salary and fringe benefits costs without causing a decline in overall service. Fifty-nine employees participated, representing 24 percent of the 247 who were eligible.

Engineering research building

BUILT TO CONSERVE AND LEED

UT Arlington is taking the LEED in building greener structures. The College Park development, the Engineering Research Building, and College Park Center all are designed to achieve LEED Gold or Silver certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a federal rating system that provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction. UT Arlington landed a $1.8 million grant for College Park, which will incorporate solar panels that could save $60,000 a year in electric costs.

Meghna Tare

ECO-AWARENESS IS GOOD BUSINESS

Green living isn’t a fad at UT Arlington; it’s a way of life. The University’s Sustainability Office—led by Director Meghna Tare—has initiated a variety of measures to help further this effort. Among them are sustainability fellowships for faculty members, a program that makes environmentally friendly rental cars available on campus, and conservation measures at campus dining facilities. The office also relaunched its website, uta.edu/sustainability. This year the University plans to collaborate with the City of Arlington on a community garden on campus.