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President Signs Tallories

It took about a year of debate and discussion by the All-College Planning and Priorities Committee (PPC), and in the end the group recommended that President Peggy R. Williams sign the international Talloires Declaration, thereby committing the College to a more sustainable future.

The committee found the declaration, a 10-point agreement to incorporate sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach at the College, to be consistent with the College’s goals, and the president agreed. She signed the declaration on February 28, joining more than 300 other institutions from around the world. “We believe the Talloires Declaration is an accurate representation of the things we stand for,” Williams said at the signing. “You can always get better at things, but nothing is going to change tomorrow because we signed it.”

The declaration was developed in 1990, when leaders of 20 universities from all regions of the world gathered in Talloires (pronounced Tal-Wahr), France, to discuss their concerns about the perilous scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources. These environmental changes, they recognized, threatened the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations.

In keeping with the College’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, last fall President Williams asked the PPC, chaired by provost and vice president for academic affairs Peter Bardaglio, to review how the Institutional Plan and Comprehensive Environmental Plan, both adopted in 2001, related to the Talloires principles. The committee determined that Talloires was consistent with the priorities and direction outlined in the plans, and identified opportunities for further advancement of the College’s mission by following the declaration’s guidelines.

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