President Set to Appoint Sustainability Liaison

The liaison will coordinate sustainability initiatives on campus to encourage a total campus effort.

Written by Cory Chandler

True stewardship and accountability can only be achieved through a total campus effort, which is why a sustainability liaison will coordinate initiatives on campus.

True stewardship and accountability can only be achieved through a total campus effort, which is why a sustainability liaison will coordinate initiatives on campus.

President Guy Bailey announced that he will name a liaison to coordinate sustainability initiatives on campus. He also will enroll Texas Tech for membership in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

His announcement follows the recommendations of the President’s Sustainability Taskforce, appointed in November to assess current sustainability practices and propose further actions.

“I was excited to learn about the various sustainable practices already taking place on the Texas Tech campus,” Bailey said. “However, true stewardship and accountability can only be achieved through a total campus effort, which is why I will appoint a sustainability liaison to coordinate initiatives on campus and also adopt the AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS) to benchmark our progress.”

STARS provides a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.

A Green History

Bailey made the announcement during Texas Tech’s annual Arbor Day celebration in which students, faculty and staff gather to plant flowers on campus and promote sustainable living.

Texas Tech first celebrated Arbor Day in 1937, when then-president Bradford Knapp released classes so that students and faculty could plant 20,000 trees on campus.

In recent years, Arbor Day has expanded to include a week-long slate of activities to promote issues like waste recycling, energy efficiency and water conservation.

“Texas Tech has a long history of celebrating Arbor Day. You could say we went green more than 60 years ago,” Bailey said. “Our researchers across the campus are engaged in sustainable research, our students participate in green activities. We are building a new LEED-certified business administration building and departments across campus are doing their part to act as responsible stewards, so it is time for our policies to reflect that.”

Bailey appointed the sustainability taskforce following a Green Campus Action Symposium in spring 2009 that gathered university administrators, faculty, students and nationally known sustainability advisors to hammer out a campus action plan.