U.S. Colleges and Universities Form National Coalition for Renewable Energy

A coalition of college and university presidents and academic leaders has called upon American institutions of higher learning to commit to renewable energy by greening their campuses, investing in the industry and teaching future generations about renewable energy.

Washington, D.C. - A coalition of college and university presidents and academic leaders has called upon American institutions of higher learning to commit to renewable energy by greening their campuses, investing in the industry and teaching future generations about renewable energy.


David Hales, president of College of the Atlantic, is chairing the committee. Said Hales, "Recognizing that business as usual will not provide a dependable, affordable and reliable source of energy to the nation, American institutions of higher education are joining together to move renewable energy into the mainstream." Hales has held numerous positions promoting sustainability nationally and internationally before becoming COA president in June of this year.

Last month, COA became the first American institution of higher education to declare itself net-zero for all greenhouse gas emissions. Whatever carbon emissions the college cannot eliminate or reduce, it will offset through renewable energy investments.

"Colleges and universities can take immediate action by demonstrating how to transition to a cleaner, more secure, more reliable and affordable energy future," noted ACORE President Michael Eckhart.

The Higher Education Committee (HEC) will provide forums, information, tools, and other resources to facilitate four initiatives:

• Increased use of renewable energy on U.S. college and university campuses,
• Increased investment of endowments in clean energy funds and companies,
• Resources for the education of current and future generations, and
• Involvement of alumni associations.

"These institutions can help create and drive the market for renewable energy, as well as profit from its growth," added Eckhart. He believes U.S. colleges and universities have a vital and urgent role to play in mobilizing intellectual and financial capital towards energy strategies that can be used by the nation, its institutions and its general population.

Additionally, Hales notes the HEC can take immediate action through developing educational materials and curricula for renewable energy, especially in schools of engineering, science, law, business and public policy. The HEC will also encourage colleges and universities to involve their whole communities, including alumni, staff, faculty and students.

In addition to President David Hales of College of the Atlantic, other individuals and institutions that comprise the Steering Committee include many from the West: Dr. Jay Golden, Director, Arizona State University; Dr. Louis Swanson, Vice Provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships, Colorado State University; Mr. Paul Ludden, Dean, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. David Chapman, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Graduate Programs, University of Utah; Mr. Jim Marchant, Vice President for Student Affairs, Pitzer College; and Dr. James Petersen, Vice Provost for Research, Washington State University.

Committee members from the Midwest include: Ms. Vicki Martin, Interim Vice President, Oak Creek Campus, Milwaukee Area Technical College; Mr. John Koropchak, Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Dean, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; Dr. Andrew Swift, Director, Texas Tech University; Mr. Lowell Rasmussen, Associate Vice Chancellor for Physical Plant & Master Planning, University of Minnesota, Morris; Mr. Tom Sonnleitner, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; and Dr. Joseph Rives, Assistant to the President for Planning and Budget, Western Illinois University.

Members from the East and South include: Ms. Dixie Norris, Vice President of Administration & Finance, Cape Cod Community College; Mr. Martin Altschul, University Engineer, Carnegie Mellon University; Dr. Larry Walker, Professor, Cornell University; Dr. Lincoln Pratson, Associate Professor, Duke University; Ms. Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives, Emory University; Dr. Frank Powell, Professor, Furman University; Dr. Thomas Kepple, President, Juniata College; Dr. Nan Jenks-Jay, Director of Environmental Affairs, Middlebury College; Mr. Edward Terceiro, Executive Vice President, Mount Wachusett Community College; Mr. Art Cantrell of Saint Francis University; and Ms. Dedee DeLongpre, Director, University of Florida.

More information on the HEC can be found at: www.acore.org/programs/hec.

The HEC Steering Committee will meet for the first time in conjunction with ACORE's annual policy conference, Phase II of Renewable Energy in America: Market Forecasts and Policy Requirements, being held from November 29-30, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

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