September 30, 2009

Chancellor names Sustainability Council members

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Sustainability Council is now in place at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and members are looking for input from the campus community, including suggestions for use of the new student-paid Green Fee.

Chancellor Samuel Goldman appointed the council members earlier this month and put them right to work. Their first order of business is to create their own structure and operating papers no later than Dec. 15.

“I appreciate the willingness of these students and faculty and staff members to help with this important undertaking,” Goldman said. “We already have many sustainability initiatives under way on our campus, and this council will enable us to take even more pro-active steps not only to preserve, but also enhance the environment.”

During their first meeting this month, council members selected Paul Restivo, director of the SIUC Center for Environmental Health and Safety, as their chairman. At their October meeting, they will select the rest of their officers, determine if the council will recommend adding community members, and decide just how they’ll operate and achieve their goals.

Also, the council will create a five-member Green Fee Subcommittee by Oct. 15. It will include all three student members and two others from the Sustainability Council. This committee will make recommendations to the full council and the chancellor regarding expenditure of revenues from the $10 per semester Green Fee paid by students. Students supported the new fee in a spring referendum by a vote of 996-372.

The fee’s purpose is promoting SIUC efforts to save energy and enhance sustainability. That can include projects involving renewable energy, energy efficiency and more. Restivo said the subcommittee will seek proposals for use of the funds, review them and make recommendations to the Sustainability Council and chancellor. Among the tasks facing the group is determining what mechanism it will use to solicit student input, proposals and feedback, Restivo said.

“This is a chancellor’s committee and the chancellor will ultimately make the final decisions. But, he wants this group to be his adviser on all aspects pertaining to sustainability issues on campus. And, we definitely want people to have input, especially the students since the Green Fee is their money,” Restivo said.

The new SIUC Sustainability Council members, including their position or unit they represent, are:


• Jon Dyer, a senior geography and environmental resources major, Undergraduate Student Government

• Ryan Klopf, a graduate doctoral student in plant biology, Graduate and Professional Student Council

• Megan Pulliam, a senior political science major


• Jonathan Gray, associate professor, speech communication (environmental communication)

• Erin Seekamp, assistant professor, forestry

• Matthew Therrell, assistant professor, geography and environmental resources


• William Connors, food service chef, University Housing

• Justin Harrell, electrical engineer, Plant and Service Operations

• Paul Restivo, director, Center for Environmental Health and Safety

• Andilee Warner, recycling coordinator, Plant and Service Operations

Committee members will serve two years working through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.