Last fall, Dean Leigh and I announced that we were moving forward to create a School of Environment and Sustainability within the College of Arts and Sciences.
The new school will have a broad interdisciplinary mission, bringing together the best of research and education done across our campus, including in the natural and social sciences, the policy work done by environmental planners, and the practical and creative work done by designers and engineers; it will draw on our demonstrated expertise in the sciences, environmental policy, law, business and environmental history, humanities and culture and will draw on the planning and creative work done by environmental engineers, designers and urban planners.
We named Sharon Collinge, professor of environmental studies and ecology and evolutionary biology and the current Director of the Environmental Studies program, as Director of the School of Environment and Sustainability. Professor Collinge will work closely with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and with the Office of Academic Affairs. She will be assisted in this new role by a faculty implementation committee (see sidebar), chaired by Jason Neff, associate professor of environmental studies and geological sciences.
The director will have overall oversight of the process and will have the authority to resolve disputes; she will sit as a non-voting member of relevant bodies within Arts and Sciences, as determined by the Dean, and will report regularly to the Provost. The implementation committee will advise the director and work with her to design the overall structure of the School. This committee will have liaisons working with it from such units as the Registrar’s Office, Admissions, Institutional Analysis, the BFA and student government. It will be staffed by the Office of Faculty Affairs. The committee will be reaching out to interested faculty across the campus.
Dean Leigh and I will formally charge the implementation committee to develop the structure, governance, curriculum, operational processes and timeline for realizing the vision for the school. The implementation committee will appoint subcommittees to address specific issues, including administration, faculty and academic unit affiliations, student services, core curriculum, degree programs, community engagement, fundraising, space and infrastructure. The anticipated timeline for completion of a final report by the implementation committee is May 15, 2014. The report will be addressed to both the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Provost.