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Environmental studies professor argues for a broader definition of sustainability

November 30, 2010

  • Jim Proctor, director of Environmental Studies

J.R. Howard Hall

Jim Proctor, director of environmental studies, urges us to broaden our definition of sustainability in this Chronicle of Higher Education commentary.

Proctor, a professor of environmental studies, argues that colleges’ primary focus on green things does not adequately prepare the next generation of leaders, advocates, teachers, and responsible citizens to imagine a truly sustainable world.

“Sustainability is about more than being green, surely,” Proctor writes. “But less obvious is another way in which our approach to sustainability quite literally limits our horizons: We have effectively defined sustainability in higher education as campus sustainability. It focuses on, and often stops at the boundaries of, our college campuses.”

In 2008, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Proctor launched a multi-institutional, multi-year collaborative research initiative, designed to better prepare future public policy makers. In 2009, Proctor published two books on science and nature.


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