Green Committee Meeting Minutes
April 11, 2011
Kathleen Odige, Rob Como, Ray Bailey, Ruth Stanton, Ann Nichols, Bill Gorham, Callan Bentley, Susi Mattheisen, Victor Zabielski, Chris Applegate, Jennifer Hitchcock
Approval of Minutes from Meeting on 3-14-11:
Minutes were approved.
- Our guest, Chris Applegate, introduced himself. He is the Director of Arlington Center & Regional Director of WDCE, and he brought a few handouts and talked to us about green initiatives at NOVA he has been involved in.
- Virginia Tech contacted Pres. Templin to inquire about partnering with NOVA to work on green initiatives, Sustainable Energy Curriculum (SEC), and other mutual interests and opportunities.
- Since then, Chris has been working with others to prepare reports on establishing green curriculum, apply for grants, etc.
- NOVA has worked with a veterans’ organization to develop green training for returning veterans: NOVA/Tech Veterans for Green Jobs program.
- A relationship with the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative (CCI), a large grant project, for which NOVA was chosen as the lead for community colleges, was initiated in March 2010 (handout). CCI efforts continue with NOVA and other regional universities, county governments, etc.
- As part of the Virginia Energy Plan (VEP), VCCS developed the Weatherization Training Assistance Program (WTAP).
- Developing “green training” programs and courses—both credit and non-credit—is difficult because of the economy—both for getting funding and for the prospect of graduates being hired. But VCCS is going ahead with an inventory of green courses. NOVA offered an Energy Auditor Training course in Feb., but no students enrolled.
- Contacts with other colleges and universities about sustainability coordinators (SCs):
- Grand Rapids CC (Susi M.): they have had an SC for 10 years, and they were one of the first colleges to do this. The SC wears different hats: director of sustainability, associate professor of computer technology, and assistant director of innovation. He sees a need for additional staff and a full-time position. Accomplishments: GRCC has Energy Education Inc. do an audit of campus practices and look for ways to reduce cost through efficiency, which helps fund other college programs as well. He reports to Associate Director for Interdisciplinary Studies but he also has direct access to the president. His position is funded through the general fund. They created the Keller Future Center to help look for ways to address environmental problems. College won 2nd place at annual Edison Awards for the Keller Center.
- Austin CC (Victor): Andy Kim—Director of Environmental Stewardship. He has an architectural background and works across the college to unify ACC’s sustainability efforts and educate others on campus.
- Central Piedmont CC (Jennifer): Ernie McLaney, the Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability. CPCC was looking for the “next big thing out there” and settled on sustainability and created a green skills training program, originally through workforce development. He reports to the Dean of STEM program, but the long-term goal is to have the position report directly to the President. The Center is the “go-to” place for the region’s sustainability resources. They are connected to local businesses, the Charlotte city gov’t, county departments, and environmental non-profits. The Center brings recognition to the college, has helped reduce the college’s carbon footprint, and has made the college more sustainability-minded. The center has won CPCC local and state sustainability awards, they helped create and host the largest Earth Day event in NC (Charlotte Clean and Green), developed a show on CPCC TV called “Spotlight on Sustainability”, made new hire orientations more sustainable, and helped start NC’s first Sustainability Technologies Degree program for CCs.
- Valencia CC (Rob): Winsom Bennett, Energy Conservation Manager. She has a business management background and started six years ago after the president complained that they were spending too much on light bulbs. Siemens did an energy audit for them initially, which led to cost savings. Reports to Assistant VP for Facilities but also has direct access to the president. They also have a great website.
- VCU (Ray): Director of Sustainability. The Sustainability office was created through student pressure. This position was created to help the pres. and college live up to the commitment made to the student body. The position needs direct access to the pres. The office has been a great benefit to student recruitment. They have saved about $100,000 by composting dining hall waste. They have many contacts with local businesses with city and state gov’t. $275,000 per year budget for this office.
- AU (Ray): Director of Sustainability. Housed in the Finance and Treasurer operation and reports to the VP of Planning. He has a Sustainability Coordinator who works for him, plus interns. Green Eagle program has student interns who get scholarships for being students experts on sustainability for dorms.
- Lance CC (Ray): In Eugene, OR. Sustainability Coordinator. She reports to Director of Facilities, but used to report to VP of Operations. She has a three-person office. They get grants and use the position to attract students and save money in energy and tipping fees. They have created a 2-yr. program in Sustainability to train future Sustainability Coordinators. They got the local voters to support a new sustainable building for the CC in downtown Eugene.
- Lone Start CC (Ruth): Tim Sebesta was approached by the former Pres. to partner with the community to develop workforce opportunities, economic growth, and sustainable programs. It started with a campus committee to review issues, and then they advertised for a Director of Energy and Sustainability Management (but the position was frozen because of recent budget and economic problems). They have started a program to create biofuel from pond scum and used cooking oil, along with other programs.
- Portland CC (Ann): Oregon has a state-wide sustainability program that everyone will be participating in.
- City of San Francisco College (Callan): Has a sustainability plan, but maybe not a coordinator. He didn’t hear back.
- Miami Dade CC (Callan): Director of Earth Ethics Institute. They suggested looking for someone in the $60,000-80,000 salary range. She suggested two roles—one for academic programs and one for operations. She suggested that a Provost be the chair of the campus Green Committee who will advise the SC. Recommended a title like “Education for Sustainable Development”. She recommended getting “sustainability” into NOVA’s strategic plan. They have a program to get local organic food onto campus. She reports to an Academic Dean on one of the campuses but recommends that the position reports to someone sympathetic. She has one full-timer and two half-timers, plus Americorps VISTA volunteers. She recommended anticipating and being prepared to counter any negative reactions to the center/initiative.
- Some common themes to consider for SC position:
- SCs work to create an environmental culture through education, make campus operations greener, and create/manage related workforce development and academic programs.
- Who should the SC report to?
- Possibly Sam Hill, Sheri Robertson, or William Gary would be a good person for an SC to report to. We should find a sympathetic person in a position that would allow the SC to have direct access to the President as well.
- Or see if the position could be directly attached to President Templin as some kind of special assistant to the president. It may be easier to get things done and get the necessary support if the position reports directly to the president.
- NOVA needs a position like this to help carry out the Virginia Energy Plan.
- Some ideas for SC position:
- Develop a general position description: AASHE’s website has descriptions for sustainability programs and job descriptions.
- We are doing a lot at the college already, but it is fragmented and not coordinated.
- We need to become a leader amongst community colleges on this issue, and we are already behind many other colleges.
- Should Green Committee be the hiring committee as well (or at least some of us)? Can we also ask other experienced outsiders to serve on the committee (such as Lenna Storm, etc.)?
- Should we have Sam and someone else, such as Ray, present the proposal to Templin?
- If we can get an SC position, the Green Committee may take on a different role down the road.
- Earth Day events will not take place on NOVA Annandale campus this year because of construction and will be moved to the Fairfax County government complex, but it will return to NOVA next year.
- Craft a short, 1-2 page proposal for the position we want, its justifications, arguments for it, and brief position description, etc.
- Ray, Rob, Jennifer, etc. can craft a draft based on members’ written summary of the key points each person thinks we should stress:
- Areas of Responsibility
- Hiring Representation
- Educational background (business, sustainability, etc.)
- *See the “Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium (VEWC) section in the middle of Chris Applegate’s handout as a possible template for idea
- Members of the Committee should send their ideas to Ray by Wed. 4/13
- When Ray, Rob, and Jennifer have completed a first draft, they will send it to the group to get feedback.
- We need to work with the Committee on Committees to be sure that new appointees to Green Committee can be appointed in a more timely manner.