New solar panels on the roof of the Anderson Student Center are shown October 9, 2014.

St. Thomas Introduces First Full-time Campus-wide Sustainability Director

For the first time, the University of St. Thomas has a full-time employee dedicated to campus-wide sustainability, bolstering the ongoing work of the Office for Sustainability Initiatives and other sustainability efforts across campus.

The university recently welcomed Amir Nadav as its new assistant director of campus sustainability, a role long-envisioned as a key piece of organizing and coordinating St. Thomas’ growing, campus-wide work in sustainability.

“This is a total game changer,” said Elise Amel, professor of psychology and director of the Office for Sustainability Initiatives. “Having Amir on board is such a gift. His job is to scan the environment, take incoming information, distribute it appropriately, take people inside the community and leverage their skills to ratchet things up here.”

St. Thomas has a long history of integrating sustainability into many aspects of the university, a commitment solidified in 2008 when then-president Father Dennis Dease signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which included a goal of carbon neutrality by 2035.

“One thing I was excited about is that I’m not starting from scratch. St. Thomas has a strong history of thinking about sustainability and implementing it in a variety of ways,” Nadav said. “There’s a great foundation and a lot of partners who are engaged.”

Nadav’s first task will be assessing the full scope of St. Thomas’ current sustainability work and using that to inform a sustainability plan to move forward with.