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Morris Premieres New Sustainability Leadership Program

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014

In June 2014, the University of Minnesota, Morris will begin to establish an innovative leadership program in sustainability. The Sustainability Leaders for the Future program builds on the national reputation of the Morris campus to develop the next generation of leaders prepared to live in a carbon-constrained, more sustainable world.

“The concept of promoting sustainable use of the environment is already woven into the fabric of our work at Morris,” says Bart Finzel, vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean. “This new program will help us further weave sustainability in the classroom and beyond.”

Building on Morris’s existing strengths and unique alternative energy facilities, this program will link experience, study, and research to classroom studies with a focus on sustainable living—all aimed at creating an integrated approach to developing and enhancing leadership qualities in undergraduate students. A team of faculty, staff, and students will work together to create a well defined leadership program, grounded in rigorous curriculum and external partnerships. Additional components of this initiative include a faculty mentorship program, retreats and workshops, and visits from external experts who will share their knowledge with project leaders.

By May 2017, Morris will have more fully embedded sustainability leadership opportunities throughout its curriculum and co-curriculum. In addition, it will have a well-defined Sustainability Leaders for the Future program in which students can participate for years to come, a program that will serve as a model for other campuses.

“Our model of sustainability inspires a broad range of initiatives that are redefining the ways in which young people understand their role as citizens in a changing environment,” says Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson. “We trust that the Sustainability Leaders for the Future program will further enable us to advance and enrich this work.”

Sustainability Leaders for the Future is supported in part by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.