Higher Education Webinars

Getting to Green

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

August 7, 2009 - 12:30pm
I went on a week's vacation earlier this summer. Went towards the water, and saw a surprising number of wind turbines along the way. Picked a location which, while not too far away, offers an environment significantly different from Backboro. (My grandmother always used to say that a change was as good as a rest. Actually, the combination of the two beats either one alone.)
August 5, 2009 - 3:45pm
I've been thinking some about structural barriers to change. You know, those aspects of how Greenback's organized, or how it behaves, or its institutional culture (including those questions all Greenbackers are subtly conditioned never to ask) which have the effect of keeping us going in the same direction even whilst we're telling ourselves how much we want to change course.
August 2, 2009 - 10:49am
According to an article in The Guardian last week, new photographic evidence of climate disruption was recently released by the Obama administration.While it doesn't contain anything truly startling -- the featured symptom is shrinking of arctic ice sheets, which is already well-established -- it does provide some striking photographs.
July 30, 2009 - 7:15pm
AASHE has released the results of a survey of sustainability practices within top-division collegiate athletics departments. It's interesting reading.
July 28, 2009 - 9:25pm
... it may not matter if we (humans) kill our fool selves off.According to research conducted at Arizona State, we're not the most intelligent species on the planet, after all. At least not if making good choices is a hallmark of intelligence.
July 27, 2009 - 9:17pm
Susan Rogers at SCUP shared with me some data on the membership of that organization, and it turns out that I apparently misconstrued the organization's membership profile. More SCUP members (individuals) are associated with colleges and universities than with corporations or partnerships. In round numbers, it's about 60% schools and 40% firms.
July 22, 2009 - 7:29pm
Based on the expertise inherent in my observation of Portland over a 3-day period (and most of that confined to a convention center), I can confidently state that there are three broad groups (NB - not "classes", lmao) of people in Portland. First, there are tourists. Not just SCUPers, and not just conference attendees in general. Lots of folks, all over town (or at least the portions readily accessible via public transit), all consulting fan-fold maps and looking just a tad confused.
July 22, 2009 - 4:53pm
OK, the main conference sessions are over, there are some local tours going on this afternoon. A few thoughts on the last sessions and speakers.
July 21, 2009 - 8:44pm
As at all conventions, this one has a vendor showcase area. They call it the Idea Marketplace, although I always thought of the marketplace of ideas as more a metaphor than a specific location.The exhibitors are the usual suspects -- architects, engineers, campus planning consultants, furniture and equipment vendors. As I observed at last year's conference, it's enough to convince a person that "college and university planning" is limited largely to campus planning. From SCUP's mission statement, however, it's clear that that's not the case.
July 21, 2009 - 6:53pm
Only one session this afternoon -- it was scheduled long and ran even longer. The presenter was John Tagg, an emeritus at Palomar College, and the announced topic was "Framing Change in Higher Education -- Why is it so difficult? How can we make it easier?"Well, doing sustainability work on campus is all about framing change. Or rather, it's about achieving change, and it's hard to do that successfully without framing the change you hope to accomplish. Or maybe the issue you hope to address, even if the outcome has to be left pretty flexible at first.


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