Getting to Green

Getting to Green

An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

April 4, 2008 - 1:04pm
It's April 4, about two weeks into what the calendarists recognize as Spring. The snow is gone everywhere but on the north slopes, and we're deep into mud season. The Canada geese arrived, in significant numbers, more than a month ago, yet the standing water (ponds, lakes) is still pretty much frozen over. March forgot the part about "going out like a lamb" -- strong frontal systems, with gale-force winds (or so it seems) go through once or twice a week, at least.
April 3, 2008 - 5:21pm
A friend of mine, at SUNY's School of Environmental Science and Forestry, forwarded me this email, which apparently went out to every student:
March 31, 2008 - 4:53pm
Sometimes, it's what you don't plan that goes well. Earth Hour, an event which originated only last year on the other side of the world (Sydney, Australia), and which has gotten some promotion from the World Wildlife Fund, was something which came upon us sustainability administrators almost unheralded.
March 29, 2008 - 11:54am
Paycheck envy aside, I'm glad I'm not a university president. Long hours, too many constituencies bringing too many competing priorities, little chance of establishing consensus criteria for success (crisis situations aside), and employees who are unmanageable and (often) proud of it. From time to time, though, university presidents do get a chance to say something important. Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State, recently did so in these pages.
March 27, 2008 - 9:16pm
... is that you do talk about Scrap Club.
March 25, 2008 - 11:12pm
First the announcement: the RSS feed is fixed. Those of you who aren't into RSS don't care, but some of the rest may find their life now easier (or at least more automatic). Now the accounting: The Chronicle has published a searchable database of this year's Congressional earmarks to colleges and universities. Their accompanying article speaks of 2300+projects, 920 institutions, and $2.25 billion.
March 21, 2008 - 2:47pm
More emails go by, some asking whether schools have disallowed first-year students from bringing cars, and what the results have been. (Yes, and mixed.) Other items announce the construction of new campus housing, much of it aimed at older undergraduates — mostly low-rise, apartment-style. (Particularly appropriate given the trend towards older undergraduates nationwide.)
March 20, 2008 - 3:58pm
According to emails that have come across my screen, students from Seattle, WA to Cambridge, MA are organizing to ban bottled water from their campuses. The idea of going back to tap water bucks a major social trend in the US (and a number of mega-dollar marketing campaigns), so it’s not likely of complete success the first time it’s introduced on a particular campus.
March 18, 2008 - 6:39pm
As I write this, I’ve just finished reading an online article from Scientific American, about how the oldest, toughest, thickest ice in the Arctic is melting — to the tune of 1.5 times the surface area of Alaska in a single year! It’s enough to get a guy down.
March 13, 2008 - 2:10pm
The Boston Globe just published an article about homeowners’ associations which ban the use of clotheslines, and state legislative efforts to outlaw such restrictions. Regardless of where you stand on big government/small government/no government and other such semaphore political formulations, this is kind of a bellwether issue for sustainability awareness.

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