The Department of Community Sustainability engages with colleagues, students, stakeholders and communities to address social choices within specific environmental, economic and cultural contexts that advance or conflict with sustainability goals. We do this by:
- Focusing on sustainability engagement that embraces the human decisions inherent in moves to a more sustainable future;
- Creating and supporting a dedicated faculty working on sustainability-related issues;
- Incorporating a systems-thinking view of sustainability into curricula at the undergraduate level, graduate level, and lifelong learner levels; and
- Conducting sustainability scholarship that is international in scope while attending to regional and local contexts.
The work of the students, staff, and faculty of CSUS supports the mission of the University to advance knowledge and transform lives by preparing students who contribute to society as globally engaged citizen leaders; conducting research that expands human understanding and makes a positive difference; and advancing outreach activities that lead to better quality of life for individuals and communities, at home and abroad. CSUS also supports the mission of the Department of Community Sustainability to enhance the quality of life for the people of Michigan and the world by advancing knowledge for the management of communities and agricultural, natural resource and food systems to meet diverse human needs in a sustainable manner.
Our vision is to lead and aid in the development and revitalization of sustainable communities, thus enhancing the capacity of current and future generations to reach their potential.
Our mission is to assist the development of sustainable communities by conducting excellent scholarly research, teaching and outreach in the following areas:
- education and civic engagement,
- community, food, and agriculture,
- natural resources and environment, and
- recreation and tourism systems
As scholar-practitioners, and as a multidisciplinary department within the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, we address critical issues at the interfaces of agriculture, natural resources, recreation, and communities. Our public scholarship of research, teaching, and outreach helps people in their roles as residents, landowners, businesses, and governmental and non-profit institutions to make informed decisions while not compromising future generations.
We seek to help people understand the dynamic interactions in their communities, ecosystems, and the world, as well as opportunities for sustainable revitalization. This work is rooted in our view of a just, engaged, and dynamic society. Toward that end, we are guided by an ethic of responsible and responsive scholarship that engages people in an integrative process to maximize effectiveness.
- The development of the professional, technical, and specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to help diverse individuals and communities improve their quality of life and the environment.
- The promotion of social responsibility and the development of a broad understanding and awareness of agricultural, natural resource, and recreational issues, challenges, and opportunities.
- Nurturing approaches that support positive and healthy relationships among diverse individuals, communities, agricultural, and natural resource systems.
- Respect for our environment.
- A commitment to professionalism built around liberal education, practical experience, and applied learning opportunities that encourage both local and global engagement.
- The faculty carries out research, teaching, and outreach focused on social, environmental, community and agricultural/food systems in order to strive for an ecologically and socially sustainable world. The faculty is committed to sustainable development that is integrative, inclusive, and systemic in nature; involves local-to-global restructuring; and promotes public health and wellness.
- The faculty studies management, planning, leadership, and policy analysis that lead to transformational change for problem solving and emerging issues in community, agriculture, recreation and resource areas.
- The faculty employs a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to understand and address such complex and interrelated issues. The faculty’s multidisciplinary expertise creates a unique synergy that drives the department’s mission and places the department at the fore of this broad and critical area of scholarship.
- The faculty works as scholar-practitioners. The scholar-practitioner model is built on the critical discourse connecting theory and practice in endeavors of joint discovery and learning.
- The faculty supports a continuum of scholarship by conducting applied research, engaging in outreach and Extension initiatives, and developing curricula to balance the interests and demands of its students and stakeholders.