To support one of the core values named in its new strategic plan, Auburn University has created a permanent Office of Sustainability.
“Auburn is committed to demonstrating national leadership in sustainability, ” said Auburn President Jay Gogue. “Under the direction of Dr. Lindy Biggs and with the enthusiasm of many students, faculty and staff, sustainability will continue to play a larger role in the classroom and in the operation of our campus.”
The newly named Office of Sustainability has operated for the last four years as the Sustainability Initiative. With the approval of its new strategic plan this summer, Auburn promoted sustainability to one of its core values. After President Gogue signed the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment in September, one of his first acts as a signatory was to grant permanency to the Office of Sustainability.
“The move from an initiative to a university office says a lot about the direction Auburn is moving,” said Office of Sustainability director Lindy Biggs. “It puts us in the vanguard of American universities who are beginning to educate students to address problems of the 21st century, which are going to be very different from those of the 20th century.”
Biggs, who specializes in environmental history and the history of technology, has been a faculty member in Auburn’s Department of History since 1988. She has divided her time between the Office of Sustainability and the history department for the last four years.
Also in support of its commitment to sustainability, Auburn introduced an interdisciplinary minor in sustainability studies fall semester of this year, with An Introduction to Sustainability as its first class. To ensure that the minor retains its interdisciplinary nature, it is administered through the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies.
“Students are very enthusiastic about the sustainability minor,” said Biggs. “It is designed to fit with every major on campus, and this semester’s class reflects that. We have students ranging from interior design and anthropology to computer engineering and supply-chain management.”
In addition to the new minor, the Office of Sustainability will bring together members of campus to help create a plan for addressing the Presidents Climate Commitment.
For more information about the Office of Sustainability, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.auburn.edu/sustainability