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Green Mountain College Releases Strategic Plan: Sustainability 2020

POULTNEY, Vt., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most long-range plans developed by educational institutions center on brick and mortar projects, new curricular initiatives and fundraising goals. Green Mountain College's new eight-year master plan, Sustainability 2020 includes these goals. It also commits the College to another ambitious milestone: meeting all of its energy needs with 100% renewable energy by the year 2020.

Sustainability 2020 embodies GMC's educational vision for the future while reflecting on the College's commitment to bend the curve of progress toward more adaptable and enduring models of social, ecological and economic practices.

"Sustainability is the overarching principle under which we've articulated five main initiatives that will attract and retain a strong student body and innovative faculty and staff, positively impact the campus environment, and build financial stability," said GMC president Paul J. Fonteyn.

Through new graduate and undergraduate programs, the College will develop a second emphasis in human health and quality of life to complement its liberal arts cross-curriculum emphasis on the environment. The College will increase affordability in order to make GMC more accessible to a wider range of prospective students. The College will increase undergraduate enrollment to 1000 students and will upgrade its facilities and information technology infrastructure to enhance delivery of high quality educational offerings.

"Authentic sustainability requires us to see sustainability not as 'sacrifice' but as a way to improve our quality of life," said GMC provost William Throop, who is also president of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. "It means preparing students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to anticipate and help lead the monumental changes transforming our world."

In 2010–'11, a committee of trustees and staff developed a long-range vision for the College. The following year, a fifteen member strategic plan working group and six sub-committees transformed the vision into a detailed plan. In the spring of 2012, the Green Mountain College Board of Trustees, the Faculty Council, the Student Senate and the Staff Assembly approved Sustainability 2020.

In 2011, GMC became only the second College in the nation to achieve climate neutrality, and the first to do it through efficiency, adoption of clean energy, and purchase of quantifiable local carbon offsets.

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