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University of Iowa News Release


April 22, 2008


UI President Mason announces strengthened sustainability focus for university

University of Iowa President Sally Mason, in an Earth Day address Tuesday to the UI Faculty Senate, announced a strengthened emphasis on sustainability in the UI's use of energy and materials and in its academic focus, creating five new faculty positions, a new sustainability office, and campus committees to monitor the UI's sustainability practices and policies. Sustainability is frequently defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own economic, social, and environmental needs.

A PDF containing the full text of President Mason's address is available at

Mason acknowledged the UI's current efforts in sustainability, including the burning of oats hulls to replace 20 percent of the coal in its power plant, a number of successful recycling programs on campus, and the inclusion of green principles in the design and construction of new campus buildings. The university is also ahead of many of its peers in joining with industry in such efforts as the Chicago Climate Exchange and in campus planning through the UI's Energy Conservation Advisory Council.

For the future, Mason said that sustainability would be made an integral part of the UI's academic mission, creating a task force to examine the UI's role in preparing students and society "to lead the state, nation, and world in sustainability." To further this effort, she announced the creation of five, new, tenure-track faculty lines dedicated to supporting the university’s sustainability efforts.

Mason announced the formation of a Sustainability Steering Group and an Advisory Committee on Sustainability, which she promised would work closely with UI facilities management to review the university's environmental policies and make recommendations. She also announced the creation of a UI Office of Sustainability that will facilitate and promote sustainability efforts on campus.

For a list of some of the UI's many sustainability projects and initiatives visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, UI spokesman, 319-335-0552, or; Writer: Charles S. Drum, University Relations.