Topics: Administrative, Sustainability/Environment

October 5, 2015

Ball State President Paul W. Ferguson participated at a national gathering that recommitted to the principles of sustainability and climate leadership.

Ball State President Paul W. Ferguson today joined a national gathering in Decatur, Georgia, to seek recommitment to the principles of sustainability and climate leadership by the nearly 600 university signatories of the American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) across the nation.

Second Nature, a leading national advocacy organization for sustainability, sponsored the press conference that Ferguson, who is vice chair of ACUPPC, attended. In this new initiative, institutional members will be asked to fully consider the strategic impacts of sustainability and to work practically and efficiently to continue the education of our next generation in the value-added impact of sustainability, to reduce the carbon footprint on their campuses through cost-effective planning and energy-saving programs, and to promote innovation and resilience in resolving potential issues related to climate change.

"This is another opportunity by which Ball State will be able to progress towards our Centennial Commitment goal of becoming a national model of sustainability," Ferguson said.

Just two weeks ago, Ball State dedicated the extensively renovated Botsford/Swinford Residence Hall, which reflected sustainability in its design, construction and operation.

"This model is not only the right thing to do for the environment but I believe translates ultimately into savings for our students and their families by allowing us to hold down one of the university’s major fixed costs," Ferguson said.

Ball State has emerged as a national leader in campus sustainability that first began in the mid-1980s with a focus on becoming a "green" campus, formation of the interdisciplinary campus Council of the Environment in 2001, maturing as one of the partners in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in 2005, becoming one of the original signatories of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2006, integration of sustainability principles in the university strategic plans since 2007, development of the Ball State University Climate Action Plan in 2010 and from 2009-2015, design and implementation of the novel geothermal project.

In 2010, Ball State was recognized by Second Nature with the Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership.

Based upon its distinguished and impactful history of cost-effective sustainability, Ball State is poised to provide unique leadership through its record of transcending campus silos and exemplifying a unified approach from its Divisions of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Business Affairs, and advancement and community engagement as well as the Ball State University Foundation (especially in the successful example of its recent divestment policy).

The sustainability community will look to Ball State as a leader in moving beyond simply advocating the cause to a real-world, balanced approach to cost-effective solutions that results in true savings to students and enhances the quality and operation of the campus and community.