I've commented before on the challenges Greenback is facing, accounting for the considerable greenhouse gas emissions resulting from things like air travel and purchased paper. Like lots of other universities, we've decentralized the purchasing of these products and services. Years ago, this purchasing was centralized on the theory that purchasing in large quantities got Greenback a lower price.
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July 14, 2008
July 11, 2008
Now that the summer capital projects are all underway and most Greenback students are off campus, I have time to do some reading, analysis, strategizing. Big picture stuff and, when the subject's sustainability, the picture can get really big.
July 9, 2008
I'm about two-thirds of the way through Beyond the Modern University, by Marcus Peter Ford. It's a slim volume, but heavy going for those of us not fully conversant with the differences between Cartesian ontological dualism and Kantian epistemological dualism.
July 9, 2008
Vance Fried's proposal for a "$7,376 Ivy" isn't intended to be about sustainability, unless we're talking about the sustainability of the economic and political health of the higher education industry within the USA. His intent is merely (if that term applies) to create a conceptual prototype for what an undergraduate institution would look like, if it were created from scratch and designed to deliver maximum value for the price charged.
July 8, 2008
Greenback U. is, in the terminology of those who think and write analytically about such things, a "multiversity." It's a double-handful of schools and colleges, "united by a common heating system." It does a lot of things, some of them very well. One of the things it doesn't do well is institute change. Making change well requires coordination. Coordination, in a large organization, requires planning. Planning, at Greenback, is a patchwork at best.
July 3, 2008
A recent post on Gristmill spoke to Volkswagen's increasing investment in hybrid cars, and the industry trend towards less internal combustion, higher reliance on electrical propulsion.
July 1, 2008
I was out of town over the weekend, getting to know the newest member of the Rendell clan. My new niece -- two weeks old -- will probably be the last-born member of her generation within the extended family. Thus, there's little doubt she will get spoiled, with attention and affection if not with material goods. We should all be so lucky.
June 30, 2008
Thanks to a correspondent for putting me onto this story. Feel free to share anything even vaguely similar. Or different. Ithaca, New York might be described as a prototypical university town. Cornell University on one hill, Ithaca College on another, lots of liberal voters in the middle of relatively conservative upstate New York. I'm told that it's sometimes defined as "ten square miles surrounded by reality."
June 27, 2008
Lots of folks look back on their college years as a happy period in their lives. Heck, some folks seem to like it so much that they find a way never to leave! (One of the characteristics of many higher-ed administrative departments is that they employ a lot of people with local diplomas on the wall, and no experience ever having worked anyplace else. Sigh!)
June 26, 2008
I want to be Alexander Lee when I grow up. Lee is the Executive Director of Project Laundry List, an outgrowth of a project he started at Middlebury College.