The Responsibility of Education Toward a More Sustainable Planet


All thoughtful people are concerned about the Earth’s environment and, as educators, we share a special responsibility to lead by example efforts that will bring to the attention of thousands the sorts of things that can be done to lessen the impact of human existence on the planet. We have a very powerful voice in the community, one that has grown over the decades as the reputation for quality and rigor have become known and accepted without challenge. We also have an equally important responsibility to use that reputation in such a way as to guide our own behavior and influence the behavior of others toward the common good.


We have recently created a Sustainability Committee that will provide the College with leadership, guidance and conscience through the establishment of many initiatives over the years that will concentrate our energy toward less consumption and better care for the Earth. Over the next few months the Committee will set goals for itself and for the College on a variety of efforts – recycling, energy efficiency, standards of care for the environments of our campuses – that will make the College a better citizen and show the way for many others as well.


Our central mission to provide the most effective leanring environmants possible can be easily enhanced by including sustainability efforts into curricular and extra-curricular initiatives to the greatest extent possible. One of the exciting aspects of building the Newburgh Campus, for example, is implementing energy efficient designs wherever possible. I’m confident that the campus locale is amenable to the use of geothermal technology which will not only provide effective heat exchange for new buildings but can be built into the curriculum of courses in science, engineering and architecture to demonstrate how such technologies work and how little effort is needed to plan for them.


I am very enthusiastic about how we may become more environmentally friendly at all of our College locations, and especially for the opportunities to include sustainability projects and solutions in the curricular life of the College.