Universities See Sustainability as Key to Recruitment, Status

When I read this first article last night, my initial reaction was “This is just about public relations.” Then it hit me: that’s a good thing. Good in the sense that schools like UC-Davis and the University of Florida are not just implementing on-campus sustainability, but see it as a “win-win”: they do the right things environmentally, and receive recognition in terms of status within the higher education community, and in recruitment of students and faculty also interested in promoting sustainable development. This also looks to me like great developments educationally, as students don’t just learn about these concepts in classrooms, but also in their everyday experiences on campus.

  • From Woodland, California’s Daily Democrat, news that “UC-Davis is launching its first-ever campuswide commitment to sustainability with six new initiatives aimed at bringing sharp focus to practices that can meet present needs and, at the same time, enhance the environment and the ability of future generations to thrive.” The initiatives consist of efforts to promote campus sustainability efforts, and to further integrate them into the university.
  • The Independent Florida Alligator has news of campus sustainability activities at the University of Florida, much of which has been spurred by university president Bernie Machen’s prioritizing of these efforts. The University has started an annual conference (held in October) that campus sustainability director Dedee DeLongpre hopes will “inspire other Florida universities to initiate research in the field of sustainability by celebrating UF’s explosive research and education in the field.” Ultimately, DeLongpre sees these activities as key to establishing UF as a “Top 10 public university.”

Congratulations to both schools on their work towards more sustainable campuses. It’s hard to believe that it won’t pay off…

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