2014

Unity College President Stephen Mulkey Offers a Manifesto on the Need for Higher Education Reform

UNITY, Maine, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  In recent years, Unity College President Stephen Mulkey – an internationally recognized scientist -- has been one of the most high profile advocates for change in American higher education.  Now, the bold vision that Mulkey offered as a featured speaker at the October 2013 conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in Nashville, Tennessee, is available in its entirety on YouTube.

Entitled A New Path for Higher Education, Mulkey's presentation is an examination of the factors that are limiting the effectiveness of higher education for educating the next generation of problem solvers, environmental stewards, innovators, and entrepreneurs through the framework of sustainability science.  He offers an affirmative vision for improving higher education in service to the long-term sustainability and viability of planet Earth.  The video is online at http://youtu.be/CFWdY3_5OQs.

As President of Unity College, Mulkey has been a champion of sustainability science, which he sees as the defining framework for academic programming at Unity College. In just under two years, he has set an agenda for the College that is bold and visionary, driven by ethical imperatives that he feels are non-negotiable. In November 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investment in fossil fuels. As the first college in the nation to do so, Unity provided a measure of leadership that is unrivaled.

Prior to setting Unity's agenda for initiating the spark to encourage higher education to take a stand on the mitigation of global climate change through the first step of divesting from investment in fossil fuels, Mulkey organized the college's academics with a forward thinking approach. He pivoted the curriculum to focus on the "what's next" of environmentalism, sustainability science, and the transdisciplinary (collaborative) approach to ecological problem solving.

Since his arrival, accolades have followed, including multiple "green" architecture awards for the design (student/faculty and staff collaboration with award-winning green architecture firm GO Logic of Belfast, Maine) and building of TerraHaus, the first college residence hall in the United States built to the Passive House standard, today's highest energy rating. Unity College is the only institution of higher learning from the United States to be nominated for the inaugural Responding to Climate Change (RTCC) Awards: 2013 Green University of the Year.

SOURCE Unity College



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