Naomi Schaefer Riley shares some interesting news on the subject in the Wall Street Journal

If you have spent any time on a college campus recently, you will realize that “sustainability” is the academy’s favorite new buzzword. There’s the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); a Sustainable Endowments Institute that publishes a College Sustainability Report Card; an Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group, and another one for colleges in the Northeast. There are sustainability offices and officers at dozens of schools nationwide.

People unfamiliar with this subject might think that sustainability is just a fancy-sounding term for a smattering of environmentally friendly campus activities. But while it’s true that the word does encompass recycling and higher-efficiency light bulbs, college administrations in recent years have started to give the term a more dramatic meaning.

The sustainability folks have a much bigger agenda. As Mr. Bodner explains: “Sustainability, broadly speaking, is creating the ability for people to live on a planet that can support the population in an environmental way but also ultimately a way that promotes the good life for everyone, for social justice.” And Kathleen Kerr, the head of residence life at the University of Delaware, told a gathering of college administrators last fall that the idea that “sustainability is mostly about the environment” is a “myth.” In fact, she and a colleague offered a PowerPoint presentation listing other items that administrators might consider in this category. They included “Fair Trade,” “Gender Equity,” “Affirmative Action,” “Multicultural Competence,” “Worker’s Rights” and “Domestic Partnerships.”

More here.