By Monica Chapman
A newly formed advisory council is charged with developing and submitting recommendations to President Roderick J. McDavis for a comprehensive sustainability plan as well as a university-wide climate action plan.
Comprising faculty, staff and students, the Presidential Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning (PACSP) will hold its first meeting today.
According to McDavis, universities are uniquely positioned to lead by example in creating positive climate effects in both the short and long term.
"Colleges and universities must emerge as leaders in modeling ways to promote sustainability and eliminate global warming," he said.
The council's primary charge is to develop recommendations for a comprehensive sustainability plan, which are due by fall 2009 in accordance with Vision OHIO and the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The university's climate action plan is due to the ACUPCC by Sept. 15.
Individuals appointed to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning are:
- Ben Stuart, Russ College of Engineering - co-chair
- Sonia Marcus, Office of Sustainability - co-chair
- Geoffrey Buckley, geography
- Michele Morrone, environmental studies
- Wendy Parker, philosophy
- Harry Wyatt, facilities
- Ed Newman, Campus Recycling and Refuse
- Sujit Chemburkar, Baker University Center/University Events
- Erin Dame, student
- Amy Nordrum, student
- Molly Shea, student
*Jackie Case from facilities will provide staff support for advisory council.
The advisory council's guidelines call for least three faculty members, three staff members and three students to serve on the council at all times, in addition to the council co-chairs. Members of the council are appointed by the president to one-year terms, renewable up to three consecutive years. The council is scheduled to meet monthly.
"Each of the individuals who has agreed to serve on the President's Advisory Council on Sustainability Planning brings commitment, energy and expertise to this important issue," McDavis said.
Ohio University became the first four-year public university in Ohio to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in March 2007. The commitment provides a framework and support for America's colleges and universities to make campuses more sustainable and address global warming. It is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality -- not just a reduction -- as its target.
"Being a part of the Presidents Climate Commitment positions Ohio University in a network of universities where faculty, researchers, students and staff will come together to share knowledge, best practices and exciting ideas for sustainability," McDavis said.
Ohio University's comprehensive sustainability plan is intended to move the institution toward climate neutrality, which means offsetting 100 percent of the university's greenhouse gas emissions. McDavis also pledged to enhance sustainability research and education at the university so future leaders are better prepared to tackle global warming.
Other Presidents Climate Commitment goals include greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and evaluation, infrastructure projects and building sustainability education into the curriculum for all students.