By creating the Office for Sustainability, UTPA is taking the first steps toward establishing a leadership role, not only in incorporating concepts of sustainability into university practice, but also in the creation, dissemination and application of new areas of academic scholarship in the emerging field of sustainability.
The idea for the Office for Sustainability was formed in 2007 when former UTPA president Dr. Blandina “Bambi” Cardenas became interested in making the campus more sustainable. Her idea came to fruition in 2009 when interim president Dr. Charles A. Sorber established the Office, assigning Marianella Q. Franklin as the full-time director of sustainability programs. Since then, Ms. Franklin has hired staff members to assist in further establishing the office. Current president Dr. Robert S. Nelsen is committed to implementing sustainability across campus by charging the Council and Office for Sustainability with the responsibility of developing an integrated Sustainability Campus Action Plan (SCAP) which would guide the university in an effort to become a leader in responsible environmental stewardship, education, outreach and research.
This sustainability initiative brings UTPA into a growing national and international movement to address global-scale environmental issues in the academic arena. Moreover, sustainability has been embraced by many companies and businesses, many of whom are looking for college graduates with the knowledge of how to incorporate these initiatives into their practices. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and UTPA has a responsibility to prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to make capable leaders in the corporate, educational, and political world.
The Sustainability Campus Action Plan is intended to provide a roadmap for major steps toward sustainability over the next ten years. The rationale for developing it includes consideration of the current state of the world combined with understanding the role that large institutions can play in shaping the future. Universities already take the lead in educating society and conducting research, thus the logical next step is to educate and be a role model for sustainability and ecological issues. We view this initiative as an opportunity for UTPA to take a leadership role in incorporating concepts of sustainability into University practice and the creation, dissemination, and application of new areas of academic scholarship in this emerging field.
UTPA is on its way to a Greener GREEN
At The University of Texas-Pan American, green isn't just one of the school colors, it's a mindset and a goal. A policy on sustainability for UTPA is currently being developed and while it is in the early stages, it is a promising and exciting venture....Read More