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UMaine Participates in National Conversations on Sustainability

This week, University of Maine President Paul Ferguson is attending the September meeting of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Steering Committee at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. ACUPCC focuses on presidential leadership in promoting sustainability on college and university campuses, and in communities and in society. The meeting of the 36-member steering committee will include sessions on the public and campus-based roles of presidents in addressing challenges faced by climate change and strategically addressing sustainability solutions. President Ferguson was selected to serve on the steering committee in 2012.

ACUPCC is a consortium of more than 670 colleges and universities committed to reducing carbon emissions and aggressively promoting energy efficiency. The steering committee is ACUPCC’s chief governing body, responsible for guidance, policy and direction. ACUPCC colleges and universities pledge to conduct annual inventories of all greenhouse gas emissions; implement immediate “tangible actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; develop a customized climate action plan to reach climate neutrality in operations; make sustainability a part of the educational experience for students; and to make periodic progress reports publicly available to facilitate and accelerate progress for fellow institutions and society. The University of Maine fully participates in the ACUPCC, producing its Climate Action Plan in 2010.

Additionally, the role of higher education in forwarding sustainability is the focus of a new thought leadership series featuring essays by President Ferguson and 10 other college and university presidents nationwide. “Elevating Sustainability Through Academic Leadership” is the 2013–14 edition of Presidential Perspectives, a higher education leadership series sponsored by ARAMARK. Now in its eighth year, ARAMARK’s Presidential Perspectives is a collection of essays by college and university presidents whose institutions are at the forefront of innovative practices.

President Ferguson’s contribution is entitled “A Sustainability State of Mind: Smart Growth for UMaine as A Green Campus with Blue Sky Thinking.”  In addition to President Ferguson, other contributing thought leaders for this year’s Presidential Perspectives include presidents Michael Crow, Arizona State University; Mark Huddleston, University of New Hampshire; Wim Wiewel, Portland State University; Gloria Larson, Bentley University; Jonathan Gibralter, Frostburg State University; Harry Williams, Delaware State University; Theodora Kalikow, University of Southern Maine; and presidents emeriti David Shi, Furman University; Judith Ramaley, Winona State University; and David Hales, College of the Atlantic. Dr. Hales is the current president of Second Nature. Beginning this month, one chapter essay of Presidential Perspectives will be released each month.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

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