University appoints first director of sustainability

Kennesaw State University has named Robert C. Paul‚ professor of biology in the College of Science…

Georgia (Aug 4, 2008) — University appoints first director of sustainability

Jeremy Craig


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Kennesaw State appoints first director of sustainability
Professor to help oversee academic and operational “green” initiatives at KSU

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (Aug. 4‚ 2008) — Kennesaw State University has named Robert C. Paul‚ professor of biology in the College of Science and Mathematics‚ as the institution’s first director of sustainability. In his new role‚ Paul will oversee environmentally sustainable operational and educational initiatives.

“Dr. Robert Paul is uniquely qualified to assume this important role‚” said Provost Lendley Black. “He has enjoyed a distinguished tenure at KSU as a faculty expert on sustainability issues and as an advocate for protecting our campus resources and reducing our environmental impact.”

Paul assumed his new role on Aug. 1. The position is part of Kennesaw State’s overall efforts to lessen its environmental footprint and educate its students‚ faculty and staff about environmental responsibility and sustainability.

In June 2007‚ KSU President Daniel S. Papp joined more than 300 college and university presidents in signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment‚ which commits KSU to being proactive in engaging students‚ faculty and staff in measuring and reducing the campus’ carbon footprint over the next two years. As director of sustainability‚ Paul will serve a key role in moving forward the university’s endeavors to meet these challenges.

Such positions — about 65 nationwide‚ according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education — are relatively rare among American colleges and universities‚ and rarer still are environmental coordinators or sustainability directors who look at not just how a university operates‚ but also how it educates students‚ faculty and staff.

“KSU is progressive and on the cutting edge in having someone who holds a Ph.D. and spans both the operational and academic realms of environmental issues and sustainability on a college campus‚” said Tim Hedeen‚ chair of the search committee for the sustainability director position.

As director of sustainability‚ Paul will be responsible for:

• taking a “green” inventory of KSU‚ benchmarking the university’s energy and water usage‚ waste management and transportation issues‚ in evaluating the current state of the university in terms of sustainability;
• formal education‚ including teaching classes relating to the environment‚ ecology and sustainability as well as an interdisciplinary studies degree program in environmental studies;
• informal education to raise the awareness of sustainability issues; and
• coordination with the university's operations division in matters of design‚ plant operations‚ regulatory compliance‚ environmentally−friendly purchasing and other matters.

Paul has taught at KSU for 30 years and has long advocated environmental and ecological causes at the university.

“I am delighted that the position has come to reality at KSU‚” Paul said. “Numerous members of the university community have advocated for this position‚ and it is good to see that KSU is demonstrating its commitment to the environment. This is an exceptional opportunity to work on these important issues which dominate societal discussion in the early 21st century.”

Paul said he hopes to work not just with the university community in academics and operations‚ but also with local governments on matters such as transportation‚ growth and land use.

Paul‚ who holds a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University‚ teaches environmental and ecological courses at KSU‚ in addition to biology and animal behavior. He was the first chair of the university’s environmental concerns committee‚ and has served as president of the KSU faculty senate.

“This new position reinforces KSU's strong commitment to being a good steward of the environment‚” Provost Black said. “As the university continues to grow‚ we will increase our commitment to policies and practices that have a positive impact on our planet.”

For more about Kennesaw State University’s “green” initiatives‚ download the December 2007 edition of Access in Adobe PDF format at:


A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 20‚000 from 142 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including new doctorates in education and business.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit