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Sustainability Council launched

University-wide group to improve sustainability efforts

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the University of Delaware announces the launch of its new Sustainability Council, drawing members from across the campus to expand the University’s Climate Action Plan of 2008 and improve sustainability efforts.

Operating under the auspices of the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Executive Vice President, the council will be responsible for creating a formal Sustainability Plan for the University.  Composed of 22 representatives of faculty, students, staff, administrators and community members, the council will be co-chaired by Chris Williams, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology, and Michelle Bennett, sustainability manager.

“We’re thrilled to bring leadership and representatives from across campus together to discuss sustainability,” Bennett said. “We want to strengthen UD’s academic and environmental performance and improve our community collaborations through a comprehensive sustainability plan.”

The goal of the Sustainability Plan will be to enhance the University’s mission by addressing three major components:

  • First, evaluate and recommend improvement for sustainability performance in University facilities and infrastructure;
  • Second, provide recommendations to better integrate and coordinate sustainability content into academic programs and student educational experiences; and
  • Third, identify opportunities for the University of better engage with the community and become a leader in regional sustainability conversations and actions.

“The Earth is at a critical junction for its long-term health,” Williams said. “Everyone has a role to play, including universities, to make strategic decision that improve our long-term sustainability. Therefore, we are excited to create this council to enhance participatory decision-making and involvement in sustainability planning and activities at the University of Delaware.”

In addition to co-chairs Williams and Bennett, members of the Sustainability Council are Kimberly Reinagel-Nietubicz, strategic policy analyst in the Office of the Executive Vice President; Karen Aniunas, associate provost and chief of staff; Peter Krawchyk, vice president for facilities, real estate and auxiliary services and University architect; Mandy Minner, associate vice president and chief budget officer;  Katie Morrison, associate director for student and community advocacy in Residence Life and Housing; Jake Schrum, senior associate athletic director for facilities/operations and capital projects; George Irvine, interim associate provost of professional and continuing studies and representative for community engagement; Gloria Cooke, of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD in Wilmington; John Byrne, Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy, representing the Biden School in the College of Arts and Sciences; McKay Jenkins, Cornelius A. Tilghman Sr. Professor of English, representing the humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences; Michael Chajes, director of the University Honors Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering, representing the College of Engineering; Lindsay Naylor, assistant professor of geography, representing the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment; Anu Sivaraman, assistant professor of business administration, representing the Lerner College of Business and Economics; Martha Buell, professor of human development and family science, representing the College of Education and Human Development; Chris Knight, associate professor of kinesiology and applied physiology, representing the College of Health Sciences; Samantha Bingaman, a master’s student in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment; Prashant Ramesh, a doctoral student in the College of Engineering; Kristie Arlotta, a junior in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment; Armani Thurman, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Cara Clase, graduate student fellow and a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences.   

Learn more about the Sustainability Council and upcoming events by visiting the council’s website.

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