The Clean Energy Fund is funded by a self-imposed student fee of $10 per student per semester that replenishes the fund with about $250,000 annually.
Monies from the CEF support projects in three categories: infrastructure, academics and co-curricular education, and innovative research. No more than 50% of the total CEF budget will be allocated in any one category; any amount over this percentage for a specific proposal requires approval by the Vice President for Finance. The goal is to expend all available CEF funds every year.
The CEF will not fund course work at other institutions, professional development for individuals, or food or drink for meetings. The CEF will also not fund faculty research. Specific, highly relevant research proposals may be considered if the connection to the campus is explicit.
The Socially Responsible Investing Advisory Council (SRIAC) solicits Clean Energy Fund proposals in the fall and spring in various ways depending on the project category:
Academics and Co-Curricular Education
- Ideas and proposals from the campus community for funding academic efforts will be coordinated by the Socially Responsible Investing Advisory Council (SRIAC).
- Examples of academic and co-curricular education projects include lecture series, guest lecturers and co-curricular education projects.
- Proposals for CEF Infrastructure projects originate from the Clean Energy Infrastructure Committee (CEIC).
- The CEIC will identify 2-3 infrastructure projects annually that are economically feasible and have the support of planning personnel on campus.
- Examples of infrastructure projects include building energy dashboards, installation of solar panels, smart meters, and feasibility studies.
- The Director of Fellowships, Opportunities, & Undergraduate Research (FOUR) within the Honors College and the Director of Graduate Research from the Graduate College will develop proposals for Innovative Research, by identifying prime opportunities for funding.
- These projects will be developed in collaboration with the Graduate College and the Honors College. Both colleges have existing institutional processes for awarding research funding to eligible students.
- Relevant innovation and research examples include the creation of organic solar cells for photovoltaic panels, and development of small scale wind turbines.
After narrowing down the proposals, the SRIAC holds a Clean Energy Fund Forum in the fall and spring semesters to get the campus community's input on the proposed projects. Based on the feedback they receive, the SRIAC makes recommendations for funding to the Vice President for Finance for approval and implementation.
The Sustainable Funds Coordinator facilitates communication between the various entities associated with the CEF including the student body, the Honors and Graduate Colleges, and the Clean Energy Infrastructure Committee.