Presentation on theme: "Elizabeth L. MacNabb Director, ACS Programs in Sustainability and the Environment ASSOCIATION FOR CONSORTIUM LEADERSHIP WEBINAR P RESENTED BY M ARCH 24,"— Presentation transcript:
Elizabeth L. MacNabb Director, ACS Programs in Sustainability and the Environment ASSOCIATION FOR CONSORTIUM LEADERSHIP WEBINAR P RESENTED BY M ARCH 24, A. M. EDT
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C ATALYZING S USTAINABILITY I NITIATIVES IN THE C ONSORTIUM ASSOCIATEDCOLLEGES OF THE SOUTH
To assist other consortia interested in initiating sustainability programs among their institutions by –identifying possible barriers and pitfalls –identifying ways consortia can help –briefly summarizing aspects of ACS sustainability programs, as one possible model –identifying lessons learned along the way –sharing an exemplary mission statement from Furman University W EBINAR G OALS
S USTAINABILITY IS An interdisciplinary concept, promoting values and activities that are ecologically sound, environmentally conscious, socially just, and economically valuable.
W HY SHOULD OUR INSTITUTIONS CARE ABOUT S USTAINABILITY ? Only through education about sustainability and the environment will we be able to meet the needs of the present without undermining the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Colleges and universities are best positioned to take a leadership role, creating responsible environmental citizens who interact with the environment in a positive way.
M ODELING /T EACHING S USTAINABILITY Promotes the long-term wellbeing of people and campuses Exposes students to the challenges of climate change and natural resources depletion Inspires students, faculty and staff to develop more environmentally-friendly lifelong habits Ensures that future generations will inherit a world still capable of comfortably supporting human life
B ARRIERS TO S USTAINABILITY Institutional inertia Insufficient funds Insufficient commitment of time and energy (many see sustainability efforts as a tradeoff in which they have to give up current activities and programs)
The sense that an Environmental Studies major or minor is a sufficient activity in and of itself (even when it does not encompass a substantial number of students nor make connections with the real world) Satisfaction that falls short of a comprehensive program (i.e., complacency with whatever efforts have already been made) B ARRIERS TO S USTAINABILITY
Insufficient institutional commitment (no reference to sustainability in the institutional mission or very little mention in a strategic institutional plan) Lack of incentive for participation for students, faculty and staff Failure to see the sustainability effort as providing a competitive edge or a distinguishing characteristic for a college or university
H OW C ONSORTIA C AN H ELP Fundraising for joint institutional initiatives Working with other consortia to maximize the impact of sustainability efforts Hosting workshops and conferences that allow faculty, students, and staff to network, discuss challenges, compare activities, and learn from internal and external experts
H OW C ONSORTIA C AN H ELP Underscoring the importance of sustainability Sharing and disseminating relevant information, including best practices Promoting models of effective sustainability programs Identifying and providing experts on various facets of sustainability (including consultants who can assist individual institutions)
H OW C ONSORTIA C AN H ELP Addressing and strengthening specific aspects of individual institutions –fostering inter-institutional collaboration –increasing number and quality of environmental courses –supporting key players –supporting environmental outreach to communities –assisting with greening campus facilities and services
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES : K EY L EADERS Some Presidents and Academic Deans Faculty Fellows Facilities Fellows Student Interns
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES : W ORKSHOPS & C ONFERENCES hosted 15 conferences that included a greening the campus focus brought students together for 11 conferences to share projects and research hosted 10 conferences and workshops that focused on campus-community partnerships supported 17 conferences and workshops involving environmental teaching, curriculum, and research
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES Two Curriculum and Faculty Development workshops assisted in the creation of environmental studies majors, minors, programs or concentrations In 2001, only three ACS institutions had an Environmental Studies major, minor, or concentration In 2010, all 16 ACS schools have at least one academic program focusing on the environment, and some have multiple programs
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES : I NTER -I NSTITUTIONAL A LLIANCES
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES Curriculum and Faculty Development Alliance supported 77 curriculum and/or faculty development projects (e.g., courses such as African Ecology, Green Physics, Religion and Animals, Indigenous Perspectives, The Art of Civic Design, Island Biogeography and Species Conservation, and Russian Environmental Politics, among other titles)
created inter-institutional, interdisciplinary summer courses (e.g., Sustainable Development in Costa Rica, team taught by professors from several different ACS institutions and attended over the years by students from almost every ACS school)
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES supported 89 on- and off- campus projects through the Student Development and Engagement Alliance
also supported student research assistantships, as well as internal and external internships
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES hosted green building charettes, LEED presentations, Green Building Council speakers; created LEED student interns; and more (Since 2001, ACS institutions went from 0 to 12 campuses with LEED buildings) Campus as a Lab for Sustainability Alliance
supported 27 physical operations projects, from alternative fuel vehicles, to composting, to recycling, to waste reduction, to water conservation, to alternative fuels/energy, to native/ organic landscaping, to green residence halls, to name only a few
ACS G REENING E XAMPLES created 39 partnerships to plant trees, conserve wetlands, create eco- scapes, plant community gardens, implement urban planning and stormwater management, monitor and improve water quality, and enhance trails and bird blinds at wildlife refuges, among others Campus-Community Partnerships Alliance
some partnerships are on-going international efforts, such as Service Learning and Water Purification in the Dominican Republic, which teaches folks in need how to purify their drinking water, while providing inexpensive purification equipment for them to use indefinitely
L ESSONS Value of seed money Role of key players to champion sustainability on campus Voice support Follow up with action Create new courses or add to existing ones Create majors/minors/programs Mentor students as interns and activists Work with community partners Attend ACS conferences and share best practices
L ESSONS An ambitious, comprehensive, and flexible consortial plan should be articulated from outset Conduct solid and appropriate evaluation of progress toward specific goals and objectives of this plan Such evaluation can be very useful in refining and improving programs Evaluation that does not follow from the plan can present challenges and waste time and money
L ESSONS Collaboration and partnership with other environmental organizations, such as Second Nature, Southface, American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education, EPA, Clean Air-Cool Planet, etc. is a must
L ESSONS Sufficient and high quality staff is critical for success big picture thinking is an absolute necessity experience with academia and interdisciplinarity highly advantageous
L ESSONS Support for the effort needs to come from the top, i.e., from presidents, chief academic officers, and trustees Sustainability needs to be imbedded in the institution, contained in its mission statement as a highly a prized institutional value Sustainability should be featured in the institutions strategic plan and consideration should be given to creating a separate Sustainability Master Plan
M ISSION S TATEMENT E XAMPLE : In order for the human population to be sustained at the planetary scale, the paradigm of sustainability must be applied at the local level. As a self-contained community, Furman University is a perfect setting to bring these ideas of sustainability into practice, as well as to educate the next generation of leaders about the importance of this perspective. In support of this mission, Furmans Board of trustees approved incorporation of the following major goal into the strategic plan: to strengthen our commitment to the environment by promoting sustainability through educational programs, campus operations/construction practices, and public awareness initiatives.