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Anaheim U Signs ACUP Climate Commitment

Southern California's Anaheim University recently joined 614 other universities in signing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. The commitment is a highly visible effort organizing college and university presidents and chancellors throughout the United States to address global warming by minimizing global warming emissions and providing education in an effort to achieve climate neutrality. Other institutions that have made this commitment to address climate change include Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; Duke University in Durham, NC; and the University of California, Berkeley.

Signers of the commitment pledge that their institutions will over time complete an emissions inventory; set a target date and milestones for becoming climate neutral; implement short-term actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; integrate sustainability into the curriculum; and make its action plans, inventory, and progress reports publicly available.

Anaheim U, which was a pioneer in hosting live Web-based classes, has also committed to being paperless by 2010. This directive has caused Anaheim to push publishers to produce e-books, as well as adopt technical innovations such as the Amazon Kindle book reader that allow the entire university's curriculum of textbooks to be stored in a portable palm-sized electronic reader.

"Like the more than 600 institutions who made the Presidents Commitment, we are modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions," said President William Hartley. "We don't want to be hypocritical by teaching our students to be sustainable while chopping down trees and wasting energy to do so. For example, the time for requiring students to submit a dozen hard copies of each thesis has come and gone. As of March 2009 we will begin having the theses of our [Masters students in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages] published digitally only, and that's just part of our institutional climate neutral action plan."

The university's Kisho Kurokawa Green Institute is named in honor of the late Japanese eco-minded architect who designed sustainable projects as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Malaysia's airport, which is surrounded by a human-made rain forest). Through the Green Institute, Anaheim U offers an online green MBA, a certificate in sustainable management, and a post-graduate diploma in sustainable management.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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