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.

July 22, 2008 - 5:55pm
From shared-use sports venues to mixed-use campuses, at least in title. The session was called "Beyond the Books: Creating Sustainable Mixed-Use College Campuses." Sounds like the college campus will get used by folks in the community, right? Well, it turned out to be useful, but not quite what I had anticipated. Subject matter was more about how the college or university can facilitate off-campus development, of which a major beneficiary will be the college or university. Cases in point:
July 22, 2008 - 11:53am
The second session this morning was more specialized, and so the information gained is less broadly applicable, than the others I've attended. It focused on the project to create the first LEED-certified baseball park in the United States, a mixed-use facility shared by Penn State and the local single-A team.
July 22, 2008 - 11:30am
For the first hour-and-a-half, this morning, I attended a presentation entitled "Fragile Projects". The presenters were three project managers from a major higher-ed architectural firm, and the title related to the processes necessary to create interdisciplinary spaces on campus. Some new spaces, some rehabilitated spaces. Some classrooms, some libraries, some campus centers/unions.
July 21, 2008 - 7:26pm
The last concurrent session for today was a pastiche of ACUPCC success stories from the University of Connecticut, Rider University, and the University of Maine. Each school was represented by a senior staff member, and a senior representative from the engineering firm which served as a consultant on the GHG inventory for the PCC.
July 21, 2008 - 3:26pm
The first session this afternoon (or, more properly, my first session this afternoon) had the provocative title "Is LEED Affordable?" Provocative, but somewhat tipping their hand in that two of the three presenters were from an architectural firm, and they wouldn't be presenting on that topic if their answer were "no".
July 21, 2008 - 12:38pm
The second half of the morning was split between topic-oriented "round table" sessions and meetings of the various regional constituencies. The regional meeting went through a bunch of appropriate ritual, but also spent maybe 20 minutes generating a list of topics of interest for future programs and, perhaps, blog discussion. A straw poll of those in attendance broke the suggestions into about four categories based on pervasiveness of interest. If we call the categories A (almost universal interest) through D (almost none), sustainability-related topics ran the gamut from C- through C+.
July 21, 2008 - 10:03am
"Globalism" is the overall theme here, and yesterday's plenary speaker spoke on one aspect of it -- global citizenship. This morning's plenary speaker was just such a global citizen, Parag Khanna, whose book "The Second World" recounts his observations of some 40 emerging markets, many of whom are emerging as significant educational, as well as economic, players.
July 20, 2008 - 9:19pm
OK, so I've met a bunch of SCUPers (at least that's what some of them call themselves -- I always thought a scupper was a hole just above deck level to let the water drain), I've attended a "newbie" orientation, I sat through the opening plenary, and I'm confused.
July 18, 2008 - 12:00pm
As this goes to press, I'm engaged in ecologically responsible travel to SCUP-43, in Montreal. I'm hoping to get some insight into how sustainability considerations could get integrated into Greenback U's strategic planning process. That is, if Greenback actually has a strategic planning process -- I certainly haven't seen any direct evidence of one. Anyways, I'll be posting several times a day, Monday through Wednesday. Maybe over the weekend, as well. General impressions, potentially useful insights, restaurant reviews, whatever. It should be fun.
July 17, 2008 - 10:27am
Yesterday evening, I was listening to NPR while I was driving, and they did a bit about a local bartering exchange. People provide goods and services to others, and receive goods and services they want in return. But, unlike simple barter scenarios, you and I don't each need to have something the other wants to make a deal. The exchange serves as a central recorder of who has earned credits, who has spent credits that they've earned, and how much of each.

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