As we look towards spring, I’d like to pause and reflect on this time of transition for UW Sustainability. Our long-time Associate Vice President, Ruth Johnston, has moved on to her new role as Vice Chancellor of Planning & Administration for UW Bothell. I feel fortunate to have worked for Ruth since starting at the UW and know with confidence that sustainability at the university would not be where it is today without her vision and leadership. Ruth is a respected leader of the institution and we will continue to work with her in her new role as she continues to be involved with the UW Environmental Stewardship Committee.
Ruth's new role means our office is preparing for possible organizational changes and new leadership. However, I am gratified that it will not change our mission of working with passionate and dedicated individuals who care deeply about our planet and its people. The UW Sustainability team of staff and students continue to push the envelope and last year helped bring about a new level of awareness and participation with sustainability on campus. You can take a glance at some of our highlights in our 2016 fact sheet as well as browsing our website green.uw.edu.
It goes without saying this is a time of transition in our national landscape too, which for many of us catapulted our attention towards talking and acting on the issues that matter. Conversations about the future of our world need to take place, and they are taking place. This Saturday, I'm participating in a panel on "Conversations About a Positive Future" at Mt. Baker Ski Area as part of the “Future of Ice Series", part of a discussion on global climate challenges and what we are doing in the Pacific Northwest to work toward solutions. Regardless of the shift in our nation’s policies, this work won’t stop. I'm excited about having more opportunities this year to connect with our community and discuss the University's commitment to sustainability.