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UD's Sustainability Program now part of Hanley Sustainability Institute

By Mark Gokavi

The University of Dayton’s Sustainability Program is now part of the Hanley Sustainability Institute, further illustrating a deepening, campus-wide commitment to sustainability issues and education.

The College of Arts and Sciences remains the umbrella organization over both entities, but the academic program now lives within the institute, an organization founded in 2014 after a $12.5 million gift from George ’77 and Amanda Hanley.

College Dean Jason Pierce said the University’s sustainability journey took an important step with the 2007 Sustainability, Energy and the Environment Task Force Report, which resulted in the launch of the SEE minor in 2010.

The Hanleys’ gift boosted the sustainability academic program launch in 2016, a graduate certificate in sustainability in 2017 and the hiring of HSI executive director Benjamin McCall in 2018. This fall, students are signing up for the new BA and BS degrees in sustainability.

"This is an opportunity to now promulgate the deeper reciprocal relationship between HSI and the Sustainability Program,” Pierce said. “It is my belief that by strengthening this relationship both the institute and the program will more effectively move the University to its expressed goal of becoming a national leader in sustainability education.”

“The Sustainability Program is singularly transdisciplinary in nature,” McCall said. “It is uniquely aligned with HSI's mission. This new structure, which really just formalizes a relationship that has already emerged organically over the past years, will help facilitate all of this important and cross-cutting work.”

As part of the move, Sustainability Program Director Rebecca Potter gains the additional title of HSI’s Director of Curriculum. Bachelor of arts and bachelor of science majors offered by the Sustainability Program were announced earlier this year.

“I’m looking forward to the collaboration with the Hanley Sustainability Institute,” Potter said. “It will offer opportunities for students such as interesting research and curricular development. Both the program and the institute are growing.”

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