Strategic Planning

Michigan Technological University is undergoing a strategic planning process for sustainability and resilience in the spring of 2022, with the goal of providing President Koubek a comprehensive set of recommendations by June 30, 2022. The process will be open and transparent throughout. Please read on to learn more about why and how to get involved.

Why Strategic Planning for Sustainability and Resilience?

Michigan Tech has a long history of innovative and impactful work on sustainability and resilience. From coursework to research, and from student engagement to facilities upgrades, Michigan Tech is doing many things well to help support the overall health of our community.  In 2020, our campus earned a Silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Reporting System (STARS), demonstrating our overall strong performance in this regard. 

While there are many pockets of excellence across campus, our STARS report indicates that there are also many gaps.  Opportunity areas include operational improvements such as reducing our carbon footprint and decreasing our waste production, building our coursework and research portfolio, and developing a plan to integrate sustainability efforts across the institution.  Strategic planning around sustainability and resilience will allow us to come together as a community and to assemble a set of priorities to address those gaps and bring us in line with our best in class peer institutions. The motto for Michigan Tech is “tomorrow needs Michigan Tech.”  Strategic integration of economic,environmental, and social considerations across all that we do will allow us to contribute to the best future for our students, our people, and our planet.

Conceptual Framework

The framework below provides a starting point for approaching sustainability and resilience at Michigan Tech. It represents the key focus present in STARS best practices, our peer institutions, and public input, and will provide a foundation upon which we will build out a formal plan over the remainder of the spring semester.

A Proposed Framework for Sustainability and Resilience at Michigan Tech
Michigan Tech will be a model steward of the environment and a global leader in educating students, advancing knowledge, and innovating to solve sustainability challenges and improving the quality of life for all people.

January 2020 public forum

Forty campus and community members came together for a virtual working meeting on sustainability planning at Michigan Tech. The two word clouds below provide a visual representation of the state priorities of this group.

Michigan Tech Sustainability Priorities at a Glance
Michigan Tech Sustainability Priorities at a Glance

The campus operations cloud on the left covers the key aspects of our physical footprint.  Energy and climate issues (CO2 reductions, efficiency)  were the leading priority by a wide margin, but reducing solid waste and improving food and dining options were also important.  The cloud on the right side covers our activities in curriculum, research, and engagement.  The concept with the most support was building applied learning and research opportunities via a “living laboratory of sustainability.”  Increasing the breadth and depth of our sustainability curriculum was also important. You can read more about the January 2020 Listening Session here.

How to get involved

Our sustainability strategic planning process will include a mix of in person and online opportunities for engagement.  This webpage will include continual updates on our framework and draft plans as we advance our ideas.  There will be multiple opportunities for input at public listening sessions, as well as focus groups with staff, faculty and students throughout the spring semester.  There is a live form here where anyone with an @mtu address can comment.

Please send any questions or comments to