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“Sustology was an invaluable addition to our team for the long-range campus master plan for the University of Minnesota Morris. Their insight into holistic, sustainable thinking across multiple scales and stakeholders was exactly what we needed to create a well-balanced and far-reaching master plan.”

Tom Oslund - Principal and Design Director, Oslund and Associates

University of MN-Morris


The University of Minnesota Morris is a small liberal arts college located in Morris, Minnesota—an agriculturally-based community in the western part of the state, approximately 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis.  The origins of the University of Minnesota Morris date back to 1887 with the Morris Industrial School for Indians, which eventually became the West Central School of Agriculture. In the 1950s, the University of Minnesota began phasing out its regional agricultural school and the residents of the Morris region convinced the University to develop the campus as a liberal arts college.  Since the opening of the current campus in 1960, Morris has developed a reputation as one of the leading public liberal arts colleges in the United States.  In an effort to rebrand itself as a sustainable campus, the University retained Sustology to lead a major sustainability initiative in their master planning effort.


Sustology served as the sustainable design consultant for the development of a campus master plan, working with the landscape architecture firm Oslund and Associates.  Sustology analyzed the campus through a sustainability diagnostic that studied the campus with inputs and outputs of materials and energy flow in order to integrate a deeper level of sustainability into the master plan and provide a framework for dramatically reducing the campus’ overall carbon footprint.  Sustology analyzed food systems, waste streams, purchasing practices, transportation modes, water consumption patterns, and energy use.  The results and recommendations from this analysis were incorporated into the campus master plan.

The Bottom Line
The University of Minnesota Morris is now considered one of the most sustainable campuses in the United States with advancements such as onsite renewable energy production, enhanced stormwater management, and reemphasis on local agriculture.