Ohio University

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Published: October 25, 2018 Author: Staff reports

OHIO President Dr. M. Duane Nellis shared the following message regarding the creation of a new Sustainability Committee on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

Dear Colleagues,

As we continue down our path to becoming a zero carbon footprint campus, it is imperative that we have the proper structure in place to guarantee success. The charge of being environmentally conscious is not any one department’s responsibility; it is ALL of our responsibility. This is why we have embarked upon a university-wide, restructuring effort that will elevate our sustainability efforts throughout every college, department and division of Ohio University.

Leading this effort since its earliest stages has been the Office of Sustainability and I appreciate the expertise and leadership they have brought to this process. Using the feedback they have gathered from the Senates and other campus sustainability experts, we have developed a strategic plan that includes the creation of a new Sustainability Committee, co-chaired by Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali, Vice President for Finance and Administration Deb Shaffer and Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina. This committee will replace the existing Ecology and Energy Conservation University Standing Committee and take our sustainability efforts to the next level.

Over the next several months, OHIO staff, faculty, students and community members will be invited to participate in new Sustainable Infrastructure, Sustainable Administration, and Sustainable Living Hubs. The Hubs will be led by faculty coordinators and supported administratively by the Office of Sustainability. In alignment with our Strategic Pathways and Priorities, the Hubs will act as Sustainability Engagement Ecosystems and will utilize the Ohio University campuses as laboratories for sustainability initiatives. The Hubs will unite staff, faculty, students, and community participants to advance sustainability initiatives in thematic areas such as water, waste, energy, buildings, climate, food, transportation, procurement, and investments. Hub activities, including a monthly seminar series, will begin in the Spring 2019 semester.

We are currently seeking faculty members to oversee and coordinate collaborative sustainability research, engagement, and curriculum efforts at Ohio University. These Hub Coordinators will organize or give one presentation per semester as part of a monthly seminar series on sustainability initiatives and will report annual progress on initiatives to the University Sustainability Committee. Engagement, collaboration, and communication shall be promoted across all university locations:  Athens, regional campuses, and off-campus centers. For more information on the Hubs or the Hub Coordinator position please click here. Applications are being accepted until Tuesday, November 13th.

In my investiture address last October, I said we needed to enhance our national position as a leading edge national learning laboratory for sustainability. Since that time, Ohio University has made exceptional progress. We have been named a bicycle friendly University for the first time and a Tree Campus USA for the second time in a row; the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Ohio University the first in the state to receive the Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Platinum Award, the top environmental stewardship award in the state; and we continue to be ranked high on the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Top 30 College & University list.

But there is still much work that needs to be done and it requires all of us to step up. To remain abreast of the latest Sustainability news and opportunities to engage with the Hubs, I encourage you to sign up to receive a bi-weekly newsletter here to learn how you can make an impact.

Most sincerely,

M. Duane Nellis, Ph.D.

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