December 2, 2020

New sustainability coordinator appointed

Brad Wolaver was named sustainability coordinator at the Delegates’ Agenda response Thursday, Nov. 3. Wolaver, who has been at Webster for eight years, will take on sustainability responsibilities in addition to his role as faculty development coordinator.

“It was time to begin supporting the administration’s call for action relative to sustainability,” Wolaver said.

As sustainability coordinator, Wolaver works closely with Webster Vice President and CFO Greg Gunderson, Special Assistant to the President Oren Yagil and the provost office.
Gunderson said he hopes Wolaver will incorporate many groups in sustainability activities on campus.

“We’re looking for him to be the hub on which sustainability activities on campus spin,” Gunderson said. “Brad, I think, will be great at that for us.”Gunderson said two other people approached the school about a similar position, but Wolaver was the best choice for sustainability coordinator. For now, it will be a part-time position so that Webster can monitor the progress it makes. After six months, Gunderson will determine if the position will become more permanent.

“One reason we were extremely intrigued (by Wolaver) is he brought that faculty experience with him to help us embed sustainability academically,” Gunderson said. “That’s what made us interested in undertaking this experiment.”

Wolaver said one of his main focuses as sustainability coordinator is addressing many of the issues from the delegates’ agenda, like energy conservation and cutting operating costs. An example is getting all printers on campus to print on both sides of the paper, which would cut costs and save resources.

“While that may seem simple on the surface, some of these are quite complex,” Wolaver said.

While Webster Students for Environmental Sustainability’s (WSES) goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 was not originally addressed at the Delegates’ Agenda response on Nov. 3, Wolaver said he is working toward achieving some of those goals set by WSES.

“As a university, we do have a responsibility to the educational mission without abandoning the long-range mission of where we want to be as an institution, what kind of values we want to reflect,” Wolaver said.

He said 100 percent renewable energy is “certainly feasible,” and the administration will be mindful of the goal in the future.

Lindsey Heffner, president of WSES, said she has met with Wolaver several times and is looking forward to working with him in the future on things like the sustainability week planned for February.
Wolaver said he is excited to communicate with both faculty and students to make “invisible” sustainability initiatives more apparent.

“I sincerely believe that this is a response to the Delegates’ Agenda,” Wolaver said. “The administration takes seriously the Delegates’ Agenda and the importance that sustainability plays not only in our core values but the lives of our students. Students’ ability to engage this campus community really produces results.”

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