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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 25, 2001

(Mahwah) – Ramapo College of New Jersey President Rodney D. Smith today became the latest signatory of two environmental action plans, the Covenant of Sustainability: New Jersey Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the international Talloires Declaration, at a meeting with Robert C. Shinn, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The signing ceremony was followed by a tour of Ramapo College’s fuel cell installations, widely recognized as “green technology” for the 21st century.

“By endorsing the state’s action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by using fuel cell technology at its facilities, Ramapo College has distinguished itself as an institution with vision and leadership. Leading by example, teaching through action, taking a step beyond theory and putting into practice the kind of alternative energy strategies that will help us achieve a better quality of life here in New Jersey and around the world – Ramapo is putting action in our action plan, and showing there’s ability in sustainability,” said Shinn. “By proving there are cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases, our higher education facilities are clearly making New Jersey a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Covenant of Sustainability commits the signatories, in this case Ramapo College and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to greenhouse gas reductions. President Smith is the first of the group of new presidents (six have assumed their positions since June 2001) to sign the Covenant. All longer-serving presidents of New Jersey colleges and universities, a total of 56, signed the Covenant in February. This is the first time this approach, that of expanding the commitment entity-wide, has been tried.

“New Jersey’s colleges and universities can play a vital role in achieving sustainability,” stated Smith. “We are preparing the next generation of leaders and citizens and by modeling sustainability on our campuses we set an example for organizations and individuals of how to ‘redesign, reduce, reuse and recycle.'”

The Talloires (tal-WHAR) Declaration of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) was created in October 1990 when 22 presidents, rectors and vice chancellors of colleges and universities from all over the world convened in Talloires, France to voice their concerns about the state of the world and create a document that spelled out key actions universities must take to create a sustainable future. With Smith’s signing of the Talloires Declaration, Ramapo College joins more than 281 colleges in 47 nations – from Argentina to Zimbabwe – that have adopted the action plan that strives to raise environmental awareness, reverse environmental degradation and promote environmentally-sustainable lifestyles.

Others in attendance at the signing included Jim Quigley, executive director of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS); Don Wheeler, president of NJHEPS and professor of global studies at Kean University; Michael Winka of the DEP; and environmental studies faculty and facilities directors from Ramapo College who were instrumental in the selection, installation and maintenance of Ramapo’s fuel cells.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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