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Updated 11:30 AM October 27, 2003



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U-M focuses on environmental stewardship

A task force appointed by President Mary Sue Coleman is working to identify indicators that best measure the progress of the University in key areas of environmental assessment.

The group, appointed in October, hopes to present a set of recommendations by early winter term.

Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), and Douglas Kelbaugh, dean of the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (TCAUP), are co-chairs of the task force and a related advisory group, which will provide some research and other technical assistance.

In her charge to the task force, Coleman noted, "Environmental stewardship is a key responsibility for the University." U-M "should continue to be a leader in its approach to environmental practice, policies and education," she said.

Coleman asked the task force to present recommendations for advancing Michigan's stewardship efforts. The group will propose areas for University focus and investigate how indicators in those areas might be measured and reported on a regular basis. Examples of indicators could include measures such as water use, emission of greenhouse gases, energy use and generation of solid waste.

The task force was proposed by students and faculty from the Center for Sustainable Systems in SNRE, which presented Coleman with a prototype sustainability report, as well as students representing the Michigan Student Assembly's Environmental Issues Commission. The report, released in June 2002, introduced a framework and a set of indicators that can serve as a management tool to monitor progress towards sustainability goals.

U-M "should continue to be a leader in its approach to environmental practice, policies and education."
—President Mary Sue Coleman

Other members of the task force include: Phil Abruzzi, director of purchasing; Peter Adriaens, professor, College of Engineering; Terry Alexander, director of occupational safety and environmental health; Catherine Badgely, associate research scientist, LSA; John Beeson, student, TCAUP; Horace Bomar, director, Medical School facilities management and planning; Jonathan Bulkley, professor, SNRE; Susan Gott, University planner; Ellen Ring Kolasky, student, LSA; David Miller, interim director of parking and transportation services; Richard Robben, director of plant operations; Brian Talbot, professor of operations and management science; and James Vincent, professor, School of Public Health. Gregory Keoleian, associate professor, SNRE, will serve as liaison between the task force and its advisory group.

For further information about the task force, contact Patrick Naswell, assistant to the counsels in the Office of the President, at (734) 764-6270 or

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