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DU creates sustainability center, seeks faculty director

The University of Denver is stepping up its commitment to sustainability by creating the DU Center for Sustainability and embarking on a search for the center’s first director.

The new center will be at the hub of DU’s sustainability efforts and those involved will work closely with the Sustainability Council, which was established in 2007 and consists of administrators, faculty, staff and students.

The director will work to coordinate the council’s efforts along with related work going on all over campus — from student organizations to faculty research to facilities and the office of the University Architect.

“This position will take us to the next level regarding sustainability at DU,” says Fred Cheever, associate dean for academic affairs at the Sturm College of Law. “It will give us more capacity to understand and act to encourage sustainability in our extraordinary western urban environment.”

Cheever, who has been a driver on the Sustainability Council since its inception, says he became involved in the push for the position because of the importance of keeping DU’s efforts energized and moving forward.

The part-time faculty position — open to any DU faculty member — would begin either July 1 or Sept. 1, depending on the candidate’s availability.

The internal posting says the new director will serve on the Sustainability Council and help DU achieve goals established in the President’s Climate Commitment and the 2009 Sustainability Plan as well as a number of other duties. The posting will be active until the position is filled.

The position, Cheever says, is something different than what other sustainability positions have entailed.

“Many schools have a sustainability staff position focused on the physical plant — recycling, energy conservation, etc.” he says. “We wanted to emphasize the educational value of sustainability, so we are beginning with a faculty position. We also feel a faculty member might be better able to energize students and student organizations. In the end, it’s students who make the difference.”


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