Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
All
Speaker(s): 
Ken Weidner
Authors: 
C. Ken Weidner, II

Practicing the Social Sustainability We Teach: The Prevalence and Nature of Living Wage Policies in American Jesuit Colleges and Universities

American business schools, including those at Jesuit institutions, are preparing students for future responsibilities in a business world and society increasingly attuned to sustainability issues. While sustainability is widely understood in three dimensions – economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability– the latter has received far less emphasis and attention within higher education; few American HEIs have addressed social sustainability through the adoption of living wage or just employment policies (in this paper, these terms are used interchangeably). Within this small subset of American colleges and universities, Jesuit colleges and universities are over-represented, however, 13 years after Georgetown University introduced the first such policy, three fourths of Jesuit schools have yet to follow suit. This paper explores this dichotomy, describing just employment and a cross-section of data from the Living Wage Policy Study. The paper concludes with a discussion of the moral imperative for treatment of workers in American higher education.