Bradley Smith, Dean, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University
From my vantage point I believe one of the primary benefits that I have gained from membership in CEDD is the ever expanding network of deans and directors throughout the country in the environmental arena. As a direct result of becoming a member of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD), I have developed both new professional relationships with my fellow environmental academic leaders and perhaps more important many new personal friendships. CEDD has provided me with both a national and international perspective of academic programs. I can honestly say that our program at Western Washington University has benefited directly by our membership in CEDD. Examples of those benefits include increased faculty linkages, increased faculty participation in funding opportunities and increased participation in professional meetings. I believe CEDD has been well worth the investment.
Karen Merrill, Director, Center for Environmental Studies, Williams College
As a new director for the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College, by far the most useful thing I did at the start of my term was to attend the summer CEDD meeting. There, I not only met countless enthusiastic and welcoming colleagues in other institutions, but also learned a tremendous amount about what's happening in the field of Environmental Studies across the country and even in the Caribbean. Gaining that big picture has then helped me and the affiliated faculty of our program think about the future direction of our program. Moreover, being a member of CEDD provides our program a continual stream of useful information about opportunities for both our students and faculty.
Astrid Merget, Dean, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), Indiana University
The Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) is a landmark in higher education for environmental science. CEDD confers a legitimate recognition on the robust environmental programs across colleges and universities. Meeting with other deans and directors affords a vital venue for understanding emergent trends in research and teaching and for learning about diverse institutional practices-- in the recruitment and retention of faculty and students, in the placement and progression of graduates, in the pursuit of external support and in the productive modes of predicating public policy on solid science. Together deans and directors as a collective have clout in influencing not only our own campuses but also essential constituencies for vitalizing environmental science. Previously, SPEA—and I as its Dean—often felt like a loner in our School’s academic mission; now CEDD fosters the collegiality of a shared mission across many institutions of higher learning.
William Sullivan, Director, Environmental Council, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) has been tremendously valuable for me. Through CEDD, I've met colleagues who lead a wide array of environmental programs and who share many of the challenges (e.g., strategic, financial, personnel) with which I grapple. I've collaborated with a number of CEDD members on issues related to grants, curriculum, fund raising, promotion and tenure, and the growth of our programs. It's been a considerable advantage to be able to pick up the phone and call these leading thinkers as I work through the challenges facing my unit. Our twice-yearly meetings help us keep our relationships fresh and the topics we discuss certainly help shape my work here at Illinois.
David Secord, Co-Director, Program on the Environment, University of Washington
I am delighted that the University of Washington has joined NCSE, in particular the network of colleagues made possible only by NCSE's Council of Environmental Deans and Directors. Leading and building interdisciplinary environmental programs is a complex art at any institution, and being engaged in this international conversation has greatly helped the pursuit of best practices at my university.
After attending two national CEDD meetings, I find myself looking forward to the next - an odd claim for a meeting-weary administrator! The CEDD hallway conversations about how we teach and learn about our planet's most fascinating, integrated, and pressing issues are profoundly useful.
Randall Fuller, Director, Environmental Studies Program, Colgate University
I came to my first CEDD Meeting in the summer of 2003 at the beginning of my second stint and stint as Director of our Environmental Studies Program. My goal was to learn about other programs to help us prepare for our first external review. As director of a program at an undergraduate, liberal arts institution, I now have the opportunity to network with colleagues from similar institutions as well as gain valuable insights from colleagues at research institutions where some of our students will surely apply for graduate studies.
I have found the efforts by CEDD to quantify curricular objectives and curricular structure in diverse institutions and environmental programs to be one of the most crucial contributions for me. CEDD designed a series of surveys that attempted to quantify areas of commonality and divergence among programs and how these similarities might cluster by type of institution or focus of a program. I have used the results of this survey to help focus our discussions of curriculum revision at Colgate. Also, it was very helpful in promoting a broadening of the thinking of faculty members, and it helped show how our curricular design fits into the broader context of other institutions with similar and different programs.
The meetings with my environmental colleagues allow the exchange of ideas and often a discovery of new approaches to resolve similar challenges that our interdisciplinary programs often encounter regarding administrative issues. These meetings provide a valuable source of information in many different areas of our programs including recruitment, teaching/pedagogy, research, sources of funding, and environmental careers. I believe NCSE has its fingers on the pulse of national and international environmental issues, and CEDD provides an academic venue in which to exchange information, build a broader network of environmental colleagues (beyond just those associated with my research interests), and ultimately all participants become better informed.
Alan McIntosh, Chair, Environmental Sciences, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont
As a first-time participant, I was impressed by both the formal program and the informal opportunities to discuss environmental science undergraduate programs with colleagues at the 2005 summer CEDD meeting. I found the presentations about job opportunities for environmental majors and curricular development most helpful. The chance to organize informal small group meetings around topics of interest chosen by the group was a great idea! Perhaps most valuable was the opportunity to share ideas, and challenges, with professionals in my field. I know of no other setting where faculty and administrators can talk about undergraduate education in this discipline; CEDD is performing an invaluable service for academic environmental scientists.
Will Focht, Director, Environmental Science Graduate Program and the Environmental Institute, Oklahoma State University
Our participation on CEDD’s curriculum committee has generated interest in environmental curriculum design from other universities, which has introduced us to new ways of designing and offering transdisciplinary courses. Our interactions with other members have also stimulated interest in our program from graduates of their baccalaureate programs. In addition, we plan to take advantage of CEDD’s directory of competent reviewers of environmental programs to conduct an external review of our program. Since program philosophies vary, we believe that CEDD’s directory will help us obtain a high quality review that honors the historical and institutional context of our program.
Finally, CEDD’s ongoing studies and partnerships help all members stay abreast of trends in environmental education and research as we move together to increase the legitimacy of our programs within the Academy and in the workplace. The Environmental Science Graduate Program at Oklahoma State University joined CEDD in its second year of existence and we plan to stay active in the organization for many years to come – for the best is yet to come.
Virgina Brown, Program Administrator, Vulcan Materials Center for Environmental Stewardship and Education, Samford University
We at Samford University have received tremendous guidance and professional support from NCSE and its affiliate program, CEDD. After discussing incorporating sustainability into the Samford program for about two years and we are now ready to act on this goal. We intend to use tools that have come to us via a CEDD collaboration with the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and its 42 member corporations. In particular, we have decided to put into motion the plans to teach sustainability in the Spring term of 2006. We will be incorporating the GEMI tools into an undergraduate program (Environmental Sustainability; A Science Based Approach) and a graduate program (a Global Sustainability Perspective.) We also intend to develop joint degrees with the Business School and Education Department to complement an existing joint degree with Cumberland School of Law.
Through the guidance and support of CEDD, we formed the Alabama Environmental Education Consortium (ALEEC). ALEEC had its first annual conference October 7 & 8, at which Ray Anderson, Interface, Inc. was one of the guest speakers. Ray gave an inspiring talk on sustainability and systemic change. We are very pleased with the outcome of our efforts and consider ALEEC to be of great value. ALEEC not only consists of environmental academia, but environmental business leaders, environmental journalists, and governmental agencies. We are hopeful that ALEEC will not only improve the effectiveness of environmental programs, but will also affect policy change that could contribute to obtaining environmental sustainability in Alabama.
We look forward to working closely with NCSE and CEDD on these ventures.
Mitch Thomashow, former Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, Antioch New England Graduate School, now President, Unity College
CEDD helps me place Antioch New England’s Environmental Studies efforts in the context of a vital, emerging international network of environmental studies programs. CEDD’s initiatives have been exemplary for helping us promote our program, allowing us to learn from other programs, and helping us realize that we are much more effective when we share our experiences.