The Sustainable University: Green Goals and New Challenges for Higher Education Leaders

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Colleges and universities are at the forefront of efforts to preserve the earth's resources for future generations. Carbon neutrality, renewable energy sources, green building strategies, and related initiatives require informed and courageous leaders at all levels of higher education. James Martin and James E. Samels have worked closely with college and university presidents, provosts, and trustees to devise best practices that establish sustainable policies and programs in the major areas of institutional operations.

While almost seven hundred chief executive officers have signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, several thousand have yet to do so. This book identifies four of the most formidable challenges facing these presidents and leadership teams along with solutions to address them: effectively institutionalizing sustainability thinking; developing an efficient, flexible system of sustainability benchmarks; implementing an accountable university budget mode; and engaging boards of trustees in the campus sustainability agenda.

The volume's contributors, including recognized authorities on sustainability as well as campus executives with broad-ranging experience, consider these challenges and discuss specific action plans, best practices, and emerging trends in sustainability efforts. They offer sustainability solutions for almost every major operational area of campus and consider what sustainability means for colleges and universities—and the legacy of those entrusted with shaping their future.

The meaning of sustainability is evolving, and it differs from one campus to the next. This timely and comprehensive volume guides institutional leaders past the myths and misconceptions to the sustainable university.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Environmental Law - Victoria Jenkins

Provides a fascinating insight into the current status of action on sustainability in the higher education sector in the USA.

University Business

In a series of case studies and examples, the authors conclude there is, ultimately, no common path to sustainability success. However, administrators and community partners can work together to find the solutions that work best for them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421404592
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James Martin is a professor of English at Mount Ida College and academic vice president of The Education Alliance. James E. Samels is CEO and president of The Education Alliance and founder of Samels & Associates, a law firm concentrating in higher education law. They are the authors of Turnaround: Leading Stressed Colleges and Universities to Excellence; Presidential Transition in Higher Education: Managing Leadership Change; Merging Colleges for Mutual Growth: A New Strategy for Academic Managers; and First Among Equals: The Role of the Chief Academic Officer, all published by Johns Hopkins.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Paul Rowland ix

Preface xiii

I Updating the National Conversation On Sustainability: Key Trends and Challenges 1

1 The Sustainable University: A Need to Move Forward James Martin James E. Samels 3

2 Promises Made and Promises Lost: A Candid Assessment of Higher Education Leadership and the Sustainability Agenda Anthony D. Cortese 17

3 Trends, Skills, and Strategies to Catalyze Sustainability across Institutions Debra Rowe Aurora Lang Winslade 32

4 Measuring Campus Sustainability Performance: Implementing the First Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) Judy Walton Laura Matson 49

5 Institutionalizing Sustainability: Achieving Transformations from the Inside Leith Sharp Cindy Pollock Shea 63

6 Sustainability: Shifting Definitions and Evolving Meanings Davis Bookhart 83

7 Sustainable Citizenship: The Challenge for Students and Their Institutions Terry Link 93

II Sustainability and the Leadership Team: New Assignments 101

8 Sustainability and the Presidency: Five Starting Points Jo Ann Gora Robert J. Koester 103

9 Not So Fast: A Dose of Reality about Sustainability Thomas Buchanan Tara Evans 124

10 The Importance of Sustainability in the Community College Setting Mary Spilde 136

11 Sustainability, Leadership, and the Role of the Chief Academic Officer Geoffrey Chase Peggy Barlett Risk Fairbanks 148

Part III Fresh Agendas for Campus Operations 165

12 Greening the Endowment Mary Jo Maydew 167

13 Sustainability and Higher Education Architecture: Best Practices for Institutional Leaders Scott Carlson 180

14 Sustainable Campus Housing: Building a Better Place Norbert W. Dunkel Lynne Deninger 200

15 Food for Thought: Building Sustainable Food Systems and Healthy Communities Howard L. Sacks 213

16 University Athletics and Sustainability: Start on the Field Dedee Delongpré Johnston Dave Newport 223

IV Beyond the Green Gates: Sustainability and the Institution's External Partners 241

17 The Impact of Sustainability on Institutional Quality Assurance and Accreditation Sandra Elman 243

18 Green Legal: Creating a Culture of Vigilance, Compliance, and Sustainability Thinking James E. Samels James Martin 254

V The Complex Path Ahead 263

19 Conclusion: New Goals and New Challenges for Institutional Leaders James Martin James E. Samels 265

Notes 279

Selected Bibiliography 299

List of Contributors 307

Index 321

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