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Annie Laurie Cadmus

Annie Laurie Cadmus

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University names new director of sustainability

Annie Laurie Cadmus poised to take action on university-wide Sustainability Plan

Associate Vice President for Facilities Harry Wyatt recently announced the appointment of Annie Laurie Cadmus as director of sustainability at Ohio University. Cadmus, who assumed her new post on July 22, said work is already underway to carry out the objectives in the University's newly adopted Sustainability Plan. 

As head of Ohio University's Office of Sustainability, the director of sustainability is charged with facilitating projects and programs that foster sound campus stewardship and a commitment to sustainability goals.

According to Wyatt, Cadmus' top priorities will include:
•    Working with the University’s Energy and Environment Committee (EEC) to monitor progress on the implementation of the Sustainability Plan
•    Nurturing the development of a Climate Action Plan through the President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability Planning
•    Contributing to the development of a strategy for the replacement of the University’s Lausche Heating Plant as it nears the end of its useful life cycle

The decision to appoint Cadmus followed a search that spanned January through June 2011. As a finalist for the position, Cadmus' interview process included a University-wide open forum for the position on May 27.
"Annie Laurie’s passion for working in the sustainability field through engagement with students and the community shined through during the open forum session of the interview process," said Wyatt.

Poised for success

Cadmus holds a master's in college student personnel administration, with a curriculum emphasis in sustainability, and a bachelor's in communication studies, both from Illinois State University.

Most recently, Cadmus served as a sustainability specialist at Waubonsee Community College, in Sugar Grove, Ill. Her work experience also includes coordinator roles with the Alliance for Climate Education, Green Mountain College and Illinois State University, where she assisted in the creation of its full-time sustainability coordinator position. 

Reflecting on her appointment, Cadmus said, "OU's Office of Sustainability already has an impressive reputation, so I am honored to be selected to take on this leadership role and maintain that reputation."

Cadmus noted that major objectives for the Office of Sustainability have been defined in the newly adopted Sustainability Plan. She said she plans to work closely with all interested parties to make sure each item in that plan is executed to its highest potential.

"I truly believe that involvement from our students, staff, faculty and community is imperative, so I will maintain an open door policy for anyone interested in learning more or getting involved with our efforts," she added.

Sustainability at OHIO

In 2006, Ohio University became the first public college or university in the state of Ohio to employ a sustainability coordinator to oversee its newly-formed Office of Resource Conservation, now known as the Office of Sustainability. A unit of the Facilities Department, the office aims to reduce consumption of resources and minimize the University's ecological footprint through collaboration with students, staff, faculty and the local community.

The office has been instrumental in developing and expanding many key sustainability initiatives at Ohio University, including:

•    A long-term sustainability planning process
•    An ecology-based student residence
•    An innovative efficiency program targeting student rental units in the Athens community
•    A highly successful dorm-based energy competition
•    Three LEED certified renovation projects
•    A campus-wide composting system, which is the largest of its kind at any college or university in the nation

The Office of Sustainability has also garnered nearly $2 million in local, state and federal funding for sustainability projects, including a major expansion of the compost facility planned for 2011 and the addition of more than 100 kW of solar electricity generation on the Athens campus.

"The simultaneous coordination of the various tasks associated with the (sustainability director) position is integral in achieving institutional success in regards to sustainability," said Wyatt.