BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has created a new
position of chief sustainability officer to provide leadership and
direction for sustainability initiatives as the university works to
implement ambitious environmental objectives.
"UB's Climate Action Plan calls for the university to reduce or
offset greenhouse-gas emissions enough to achieve climate
neutrality by 2030," said Dennis Black, vice president for
university life and services. "As our university grows, it is vital
to have sustainability built into our evolution. This new position
will help us operationalize our commitment to the environment."
The creation of this new position comes at a point in UB history
when it is constructing and renovating new buildings and facilities
designed to new eco-friendly standards. For example, a 3,200-panel
solar array under construction at the Flint entrance to the North
Campus should begin operating by the end of the year and will power
hundreds of on-campus student apartments. Other new developments
include William R. Greiner Hall, a state-of-the-art residence hall
that opened in August. The building was designed to earn UB's first
gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
The new chief sustainability officer, effective Sept. 9, will be
Ryan McPherson, currently associate vice president for government
and community relations. In his new role, McPherson will coordinate
university-wide environmental efforts through UB Green, the campus
environmental office, partnering with the Environmental Stewardship
Committee. In collaboration with university and community partners,
he will promote sustainability among the campus community and help
build and improve programs that incorporate sustainability into UB
Robert Shibley, campus architect and dean of the School of
Architecture and Planning, said UB's appointment of a chief
sustainability officer marks a new level of commitment to
environmental stewardship and the university's responsibilities as
a charter subscriber to the American College and University
Presidents Climate Commitment.
"Creation of this position demonstrates the importance of
sustainability as a key principle in all of the university's
operations, as well as in its educational and research programs,"
said Shibley, who chairs UB's Environmental Stewardship Committee.
"Ryan McPherson's consistent record as an environmental leader on
this campus, and in the wider community, makes him the ideal
candidate for this exciting new position."
Since he joined UB in 1999, McPherson has served in a variety of
government relations, community relations and external affairs
roles. As UB's associate vice president for government and
community relations, he led the university's federal, state and
local government agenda and community relations, working to achieve
government and community support for the UB 2020 strategic
He has served as chair of outreach and communications for the
Environmental Stewardship Committee since 2008, and formerly
chaired UB's Greener Shade of Blue Committee. A resident of East
Aurora, he is active in community environmental initiatives and
Prior to joining UB, McPherson served in a variety of
legislative, research and development positions for organizations
in Washington, D.C., and in New Hampshire. He received a JD from
the UB Law School in 2002, graduating magna cum laude, and earned a
bachelor's degree in political science from the University of New
Hampshire in 1996.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, a flagship institution in the State University
of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus.
UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests
through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional
degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a
member of the Association of American Universities.