by Dr. John Vann, Department of MarketingGreen Initiatives CoordinatorFebruary 2003
A commitment to sustainability is growing within the community of universities in the United States. This commitment is nurtured by and, in turn, supports the growth of national and international associations and NGOs. One of the earliest established organizations is Campus Ecology, affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation. This organization focuses largely on campus facilities operations. It has published books like Green Investment, Green Return (which profiles the huge financial savings that can be generated through green initiatives), provides graduate student fellowships (one currently granted to a Ball State student), and profiles on their web site campus greening projects (Ball State appears there).
Another organization that has emerged is University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF). They assist in integrating sustainability into the university curricula, research, operations, and outreach. They publish The Declaration, ULSF's biannual report (which has profiled Ball State's initiatives), and in conjunction with the MCB University Press, The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE). They are also the secretariat for signatory colleges and universities of the Talloires Declaration (currently more than 290 world-wide, including Ball State).
Second Nature is another initiative that has profiled many programs in education for sustainability and assists colleges and universities in educational issues and operations. They currently focus on sustainable design initiatives.
The dedicated people from these organizations attend the national meetings for sustainable education and practices. The gratifying thing that happens when someone from Ball State encounters them is that they almost invariably say: "You're doing some great things at Ball State," or "I'll see you at the next Greening Conference [at Ball State]." Our reputation for leadership is growing.
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