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September 20, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Magazine cites SRU's green efforts

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's recent selection to the 2013 Green Rating Honor Roll issued by The Princeton Review got the University included in an extensive "Thinking Green" report in Pittsburg Magazine's September issue.

The 12-page article examines the work at a number of colleges and universities in the region that employ green technologies on their campuses.

In addition to SRU, the report cited Chatham University, California University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne and the University of Pittsburgh's efforts.

"Sustainability has quietly but steadily gone mainstream in what local campuses offer and how they operate - from designing courses in green chemistry and introducing master's degree tracks in sustainability to converting cafeteria grease to biofuel; from students demanding eco-friendly residence halls and bicycle-friendly campuses to sowing crops on college-owned farms," wrote author Bob Dvorchak

SRU scores point in nearly all of those categories.

The new residence halls are LEED certified and include on-demand hallway lighting. The Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable System Education and Research not only displays sustainable systems concepts such as straw-bale construction and electrical energy from sun and wind, it also provides land for home gardens and allows students to grows vegetables for sale at local farm markets as part of the learning process.

Dvorchak noted the Macoskey Center "promotes sustainability with hands-on education programs, demonstrations, research and other academic events on 83 acres that includes a farm, trails and gathering space."

The University has installed energy-saving lighting systems and uses computer monitoring for heating and air conditioning control in campus buildings. New display systems are being installed in campus residence halls that will allow students to closely monitor their hall's energy consumption, with an eye toward reducing energy use.

SRU President Cheryl Norton has signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment that seeks to reduce energy use and control carbon-dioxide emission at higher education institutions as part of SRU's ongoing, long-range energy reduction and sustainability plan.

The University is also showing off "green roofs" that promote sustainability on its Jack C. Dinger Building, part of the Smith Student Center roof and a campus bus stop. The Dinger Building roof is easily visible as students walk between campus buildings.

Dvorchak also wrote about future jobs in sustainability.

"You would be hard-pressed to find a Fortune 500 company that doesn't in some way, shape or form have a sustainability director, or a climate or environmental officer," said Daniel Kreeger, co-founder and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Climate Change Officers.

Pointing to the sustainability industry's growth, Dvorchak said, "In 2006, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education had 133 campus members. Eleven years later, it has more than 875, and 400-plus U.S. institutions have designed sustainability-related deans, directors and managers."

"Incorporating such initiatives may require short-term investment but results in long-term savings, and they do not drive up tuition costs, university officials say," he said.

The complete story is available at:

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.