Lafayette College is a private liberal arts college located on College Hill in Easton, Pennsylvania situated in the Lehigh Valley, about 70 miles west of New York City and 60 miles north of Philadelphia. Lafayette is a highly selective, liberal arts college with an endowment ranked in the top 2% nationally of independent colleges. In an environment that fosters the free exchange of ideas, Lafayette College seeks to nurture the inquiring mind and to integrate intellectual, social, and personal growth.
The College strives to develop students’ skills of critical thinking, verbal communication, and quantitative reasoning and their capacity for creative endeavour; it encourages students to examine the traditions of their own culture and those of others; to develop systems of values that include an understanding of personal, social, and professional responsibility; and to regard education as an indispensable, lifelong process.
The Office of Sustainability
Lafayette College is committed to preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders and global citizens. Distinguished by our unique integration of liberal arts, engineering and natural and social sciences, the College prepares students with an interdisciplinary academic foundation in which critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and creativity are applied to solve complex problems. The College’s intentional link between classroom and experiential education provides a campus environment in which students develop skills, foster relationships, and explore solutions that will enable them to tackle challenges on campus and beyond.
The Office of Sustainability works to further the academic mission of the College by generating and implementing environmentally responsible initiatives with a 360-degree approach, so that students, faculty, staff, and community members are actively engaged in the Office’s efforts. It is with responsible planning, sustainable operations, community service activities, and an integrated curriculum that the Office of Sustainability reaches into all corners of campus to reduce the College’s footprint and demonstrate the College’s commitment to environmental action and a sustainable future. The College understands its role in addressing global environmental challenges, and through the work of the Office of Sustainability, it strives to achieve best practices in operations, support novel sustainability-focused research, and create a living laboratory for sustainability education.
Since its inception, the Office of Sustainability has provided opportunities for students to tackle issues around biodiversity, food, energy and waste recycling and reuse. It has engaged students in real-world work experiences helping them learn to lead teams, manage projects, and create communications that educate, engage, and inspire. As the College moves ahead with a number of ambitious initiatives including a revised Climate Action Plan which pledges to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, a revamped on-site composting program, an expansion of infrastructure at LaFarm (Lafayette’s College Farm), and increasingly ambitious recycling, Green Move in, and Green Move out efforts to curtail the campus waste stream, the Office of Sustainability is eager to find new ways to further enhance campus operations, curricular connections, and community engagement.
Lafayette takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, modelling, and seeking environmental sustainability. Our faculty bring together coursework from different disciplines across campus, providing students a way to integrate the methods and research of environmental science and studies from the humanities, engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences. Our curriculum works toward a more sustainable future by setting course projects and capstone experiences into community settings, which gives students an understanding of the unique ecological context of our campus, town, and the region.
In the 2017 – 2018 academic year, there were 144 courses offered focusing on sustainability with 29 academic departments (or the equivalent) offering at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability. Examples include: Environmental Policy, Gender, Race and Environmental Issues, Envisioning a Sustainable World. The impact of this is significant: It means that more than 2,000 students are engaging in more than 120,000 hours of coursework and thoughtful and intense deliberation about sustainability. It means sustainability is taking an increasingly prominent place in the Lafayette curriculum. Embedding environmental sustainability into the fabric of our teaching, research, and overall educational experience will enable our students to take the lead in the building a more sustainable world.
Climate Action Plan
Lafayette College’s Climate Action Plan 2.0 proposes achieving carbon neutrality by or before 2035. It is a continuation of the College’s ongoing commitment to academic excellence and social responsibility. In January 2008, College President Dan Weiss signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which initiated the College’s commitment to eventually achieve carbon neutrality. To track progress toward the goals set out in the first version of the Climate Action Plan (CAP), the College agreed to conduct an annual inventory of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and re-evaluate its CAP every five years.
Achieving carbon neutrality is an ambitious goal, but Lafayette’s unique identity as a small liberal arts college with a robust engineering division makes the College enormously well-situated to become a recognized leader in campus sustainability. Having a strong Climate Action Plan will play an integral role in establishing Lafayette’s reputation as a forward-thinking, enterprising leader in higher education.
Engagement with the Community
The Office of Sustainability works to engage with the students, providing them with experiential learning opportunities, so they can develop skills, build relationships, and gather experience to prepare them to be the next generation of environmental leaders. The Office of Sustainability also partners with the Environmental Studies & Science program to develop and co-sponsor educational outreach programs for the Campus Sustainability Month, Earth Week and LaFarm. The College values its role as a member of the Easton and Lehigh Valley communities and provides opportunities for students to share their passion and knowledge with our surrounding communities. These outreach efforts benefit our neighbors, demonstrate the College’s commitment to sustainability, and provide students with a powerful, firsthand opportunity to see the impact of their efforts.
The are a multitude of engagement points with the faculty, students and the larger community including:
Monthly Sustainability Committee meetings
Social media initiatives
Collaborations with campus organization
An EcoReps (peer environmental educators) program
Campus-wide, sustainability-focused awareness and engagement events
Environmentally-oriented volunteer opportunities in the community
There are several student-led organizations which are dedicated to promoting and supporting sustainability initiatives on campus as well:
Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP)
Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES)
Lafayette Food and Farm Co-operative
Food Recovery Network (FRN)
Take Back the Tap
Lafayette College seeks a Director of Sustainability who will lead campus efforts to build and implement an environmentally sustainable future for the College. The primary responsibilities of the Directorship are:
To coordinate the College’s various operational and academic efforts in environmental sustainability.
To lead and develop new programs aimed at fostering a more sustainable campus.
To ensure the strategic implementation and success of the Climate Action Plan
To represent the College in regional, national, and global forums on environmental sustainability.
The Director will work with and as a liaison between the academic, administrative, facilities operations, facilities planning and construction, and residential life divisions of the College. The Director will steward existing programs while pioneering new efforts to realize the College as a living laboratory in education on environmental sustainability and environmental management. The Sustainability Director will report to the Vice President for Finance and Administration but will have considerable latitude and independence of action.
The successful candidate will to be a leader who can drive and share in the vision of sustainability, can build partnerships and collaborations, thrive in connectivity on and beyond campus, and is truly committed to partnering with faculty to ensure that sustainability is part of the educational experience of students across campus. The role of the Director will be to recognize and facilitate partnerships across campus, to work closely with Office of Sustainability staff, and to seek to creatively engage students in sustainability efforts campus-wide.
Direct Reports to the Director
Assistant Director of Food and Farm
Sustainability Fellow / Student EcoReps Program
Campus Energy Manager
Broad knowledge of environmental management policies, issues, and initiatives and experience managing environmental systems including energy, water, materials, food, and ecological resources is required.
At least five years’ experience implementing environmental or sustainability programs; experience in a university environment or for a non-profit and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited strongly preferred.
Direct sustainability experience and a background in sustainability theories and local, national, and global environmental initiatives is strongly desired.
Prior experience in leading environmental initiatives, managing resource, and teaching/presenting information is strongly desired.
Demonstrated analytical, problem solving, organizational and management skills.
Ability to work independently as well as be a team leader and team member is required.
Strong interpersonal skills and experience in building partnerships and fostering collaboration is required.
Strong communication skills, including writing and public speaking are required.
Demonstrated ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks, and to work with shifting priorities and schedules is required.
Prior grant writing experience strongly preferred.
Understanding of environmental best practices in academic settings, experience working with diverse groups of individuals, and prior experience in personnel management strongly preferred.
Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and an ability to learn other software as needed. Preferred: Website management skills.
Master’s or other advanced degree in environmental studies or architecture, engineering, environmental management, or science, with an environmental focus (e.g. Ph.D. in Natural Resources, Environmental Policy or related field or an MBA with a sustainability/environmental focus) strongly desired.
A competitive compensation package will be offered to the finalist candidate.