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 - 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.
July 14, 2008 - 6:58pm
I've commented before on the challenges Greenback is facing, accounting for the considerable greenhouse gas emissions resulting from things like air travel and purchased paper. Like lots of other universities, we've decentralized the purchasing of these products and services. Years ago, this purchasing was centralized on the theory that purchasing in large quantities got Greenback a lower price.
July 11, 2008 - 12:45pm
Now that the summer capital projects are all underway and most Greenback students are off campus, I have time to do some reading, analysis, strategizing. Big picture stuff and, when the subject's sustainability, the picture can get really big.

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