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 9, 2008 - 10:08pm
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 - 5:06am
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 - 9:05am
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 - 9:37am
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 - 8:10pm
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 - 1:29pm
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 - 7:42am
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 - 10:42am
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.
June 24, 2008 - 4:15pm
I'm wondering about pushing Greenback U. to get into the green fuel business. I'd like some success stories, if anyone's willing to share theirs. One fact about that UK-spec Land Rover that gets up to 45.5 highway miles per gallon - it has a 2.2 liter turbo-diesel engine in it. I'm guessing that part of the reason diesel-engined vehicles are more popular in other countries than they are in the USA is that it's hard to make a diesel which meets US passenger vehicle smog standards. Higher particulate emissions, and all that.
June 22, 2008 - 6:28pm
The local newsrag has a car section which seems to get thicker and more vociferous every week. Discounts on this, rebates on that, free gas with the other thing. Of course, what they're pushing hardest is what nobody wants -- SUVs, full-sized pickups with big block engines, mini-vans with surprisingly mini-mileage. Hybrids? Sure. We'll put you on the waiting list for a very modest extra fee.

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