Call for Papers: Sustainable Practices in Higher Education: Finance, Strategy, and Engagement -- An edited collection to be published by Palgrave-Macmillan


Thomas Walker, Professor of Finance and Concordia University Research Chair in Emerging Risk Management, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
Khaled Tarabieh, Associate Professor of Sustainable Design and Associate Chair, Department of Architecture, The American University in Cairo
Sherif Goubran, Instructor, Department of Architecture, The American University in Cairo
Gabrielle Machnik-Kekesi, Research Assistant, Emerging Risks Information Centre, Concordia University

Book description:
The rapid and volatile spread of COVID-19 affected every aspect of daily life across the planet ever since it was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. In higher education institutions (HEIs) around the globe, campus closures and the quick transition to hybrid or e-learning caused stakeholders including students, faculty, and staff to swiftly adopt new ways of learning, teaching, and administering that were unfathomable only months before. This radical and challenging shift, caused by the spread of an infectious disease that gained momentum as a result of conditions created by anthropogenic climate change, left many in academia with a sense that more needs to be done by HEIs to foster sustainability and combat climate change.

While prior texts on the subject have offered interested parties valuable contextual information, case studies on sustainability in universities, as well as country-specific examinations, there remains a gap in the literature with respect to the myriad of financial and strategic dimensions a shift to sustainability may encompass for a given university. Our book aims to highlight case studies that feature both positive and negative experiences universities have had in their sustainability ambitions and explore the most up-to-date research on sustainable financial practices in higher education to encourage our anthology’s readership to implement such innovative practices in their academic contexts.

We specifically focus on how finance-related and long-term oriented decision-making can be a catalyst for the uptake of sustainable practices. As large employers in the cities in which they are located and as centers of both critical thinking and innovation, HEIs must lead the way in supporting sustainable practices. Consistent with the mission of Palgrave-Macmillan, our collection aims to set the agenda for future directions at the interface of sustainable development and university strategies.

1 Engaging students
1.1 Curriculum (“greening” education)
1.2 Education for sustainable finance
1.3 Education for sustainable development
1.4 Use and selection of course materials
1.5 Student initiatives and student activism
1.6 Changes to pedagogy
1.7 E-learning/hybrid learning models
1.8 Sustainability in student orientation and basic sustainability principles
1.9 Sustainability in student-related services

2 Engaging faculty and staff
2.1 Greening and biodiversity initiatives
2.2 Emission reduction targets and plans
2.3 Carbon footprint (tracking, reductions, and prediction of future scenarios)
2.4 Waste reduction initiatives (composting, recycling, reusing)
2.5 Sustainable event planning (e.g., policies for conferences)
2.6 Faculty research practices and travel
2.7 Server use and data storage policies
2.8 Training, seminars, and workshops for faculty and staff
2.9 Sustainability in faculty and staff orientation

3 Engaging administrations, donors, and the wider community
3.1 Divesting
3.2 Environmentally conscious building design
3.3 Managing relationships with/expectations of donors
3.4 Sustainability focused donations and funding
3.5 ESG-focused management of endowments
3.6 Links between sustainability and enrollment
3.7 Greening university marketing
3.8 Fund allocation for emergent research
3.9 Integration of Indigenous perspectives
3.10 Collaborations with minorities and other marginalized communities
3.11 Sustainability and green funds in universities

Per our intended global scope, the co-editors welcome contributions from the international community of scholars and administrators at the intersection of sustainability, finance, education, governance, policymaking, and research. The proposed contributions present, review, and critically analyze sustainable financial practices in higher education. Chapters will highlight current hurdles and challenges that are slowing or derailing on-campus finance-related initiatives and practices geared towards sustainability. The edited collection also seeks contributions that investigate the applicability and limits of the current sustainable financial tools and policies that HEIs employ.

Considering the interconnected and complex nature of the topic, the co-editors welcome contributions that are transdisciplinary in their approach. Moreover, they strongly encourage chapters that use case studies or comparative studies in this context. Finally, as a reflection of the global nature of climate change and its multi-scale consequences, the co-editors invite authors to critically consider the scalar relevance – at the local, regional, national, and supranational levels – of their contributions.

Submitted chapters must be original and exclusively prepared for the book, with no part of the article having been published elsewhere.

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words, a bibliography for their proposed chapter, and a CV to the email address below.

• Abstract and CV submission deadline – July 31, 2021
• Selection of abstracts and notification to successful contributors – August 31, 2021
• Full chapter submission – November 15, 2021
• Revised chapter submission – January 31, 2022

For inquiries, and to submit your abstract, please email

Additional Information