New Leadership for ACUPCC Steering Committee

April 11, 2014
Contact: Anne Waple, Director of Communications
American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Welcomes New Leadership to its Steering Committee
BOSTON, MA- The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a network of over 680 colleges and universities addressing climate change and sustainability, announced today that Wim Wiewel, President of Portland State University, and Paul Ferguson, President of the University of Maine, will become Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the ACUPCC Steering Committee.
Launched in early 2007, the ACUPCC, staffed and supported by Second Nature, a Boston-based national nonprofit organization, includes colleges and universities in all fifty states and the District of Columbia - representing nearly 6.5 million students, about one third of the U.S. higher education student population. The program is led by a Steering Committee comprising over 20 Presidents of colleges and universities from around the country and across the breadth of higher education. The committee is responsible for guidance, policy, and direction of the ACUPCC.
The Steering Committee, chaired since 2010 by Timothy White, Chancellor of the California State University system, oversaw an ACUPCC network that not only grew in participation but, by 2014, had reduced greenhouse gases by over 25% cumulatively across the network.  "Chairing the Steering Committee of such an innovative, important, and successful effort has been a privilege and a true highlight for me,” indicated Chancellor White. “It’s now even more critical than when we started the ACUPCC seven years ago, that we continue to drive progress across higher education in developing and implementing effective climate responses. President Wiewel and President Ferguson are exactly the right people to further accelerate our efforts.”
Dr. Wim Wiewel assumed the presidency of Portland State University in August 2008. Under his leadership, the university developed a renewed focus on expanding civic partnerships in the region and achieving a new degree of excellence through investments such as the $25 million James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation challenge grant for sustainability.  Portland State has received numerous accolades and awards for its sustainability programs and approaches under President Wiewel’s leadership.
Dr. Paul W. Ferguson has been President at the University of Maine since July 1, 2011. During his tenure, President Ferguson continues his long-held commitment to engagement, inclusivity, and quality. Currently, President Ferguson is leading an inclusive, campus-wide planning and implementation process, the Blue Sky Project, to elevate the University of Maine to new levels of excellence as the most distinctively student-centered and community-engaged of the American research universities.
Both universities became ACUPCC signatory schools in 2007 – it’s first year of existence. “It’s more critical than ever for our schools to maintain strong commitment and make tangible progress in stemming greenhouse gas emissions,” said President Wiewel. “I look forward to working with the Steering Committee, Second Nature, and our growing network of universities and colleges to tackle society’s most difficult climate challenges.” Added President Ferguson, “Stepping into these roles after the incredible progress and leadership that has already been demonstrated allows us to build on a foundation that, since 2007, has enjoyed the active commitment of not only a diverse and engaged Steering Committee but also the entire network. The ACUPCC continues to play an enormous role in helping our students thrive in the 21st century, and we aim to continue to promote and grow this effort.”
"The 680 ACUPCC institutions employing a wide variety of solutions to make sustainability a bedrock principle of society are not only rebuilding our economy but are also helping to chart a future in which prosperity, security, and well-being coexist easily," said David Hales, President of Second Nature. "At Second Nature, we are thrilled that Dr. Wiewel and Dr. Ferguson have agreed to head the Steering Committee and we look forward to continuing to support the ACUPCC network and their leadership."
About the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
The ACUPCC is an intensive partnership among more than 680 colleges and universities to accelerate the education, research and community engagement to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate, while setting an example by eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations.
About Second Nature
Second Nature works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society beginning with the transformation of higher education. Second Nature is the support organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
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Publication Date: 
Friday, April 11, 2014