Shana S. Weber, a leading sustainability strategist and administrator with expertise in institutional change management and community building, will serve as the University of Michigan’s first associate vice president for campus sustainability.
Currently the founding director of Princeton University’s Office of Sustainability, Weber will oversee efforts to achieve U-M sustainability and carbon neutrality goals across units. The Board of Regents approved her appointment July 20.
“Meaningful climate action requires personal responsibility and institutional accountability, as well as broad and sustained support.” President Santa J. Ono said. “I’m inspired by Shana Weber’s proven record in this space, and I’m confident that, with her directing our campus sustainability work, this university will continue leading toward a sustainable and equitable future.”
Weber will work with an array of university units, including all 19 schools and colleges, Student Life, Michigan Medicine, Athletics, and various organizations within Business & Finance to advance sustainability and carbon neutrality across the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. She also is expected to collaborate with a future structure within the Office of the Provost, designed to further sustainability education and research.
“Universities are society’s testing grounds for climate, justice and behavioral solutions,” Weber said. “The University of Michigan exemplifies exceptional leadership alignment and focus on active solutions that serve people and this remarkable planet that supports us. I’m excited to collaborate with students, staff, faculty and community members, and build upon their work in cultivating truly restorative practices.”
Weber will assume the role Sept. 5, reporting to executive vice president and chief financial officer Geoffrey S. Chatas.
“Shana Weber recognizes the connection between a sustainable campus and a sustainable society,” Chatas said. “By working collaboratively across all facets of university operations — including operations, facilities, finance, procurement, human resources, investments and more — she will help U-M continue to lead the way for how university campuses can not only dramatically reduce their own footprint, but also act as living laboratories for developing the solutions that our world needs.”
At Princeton, Weber orchestrated institutional climate action decision-making principles and carbon neutrality goals, in consultation with faculty, students, staff, alumni and community partners.
In operations, she successfully advocated for funding mechanisms to support sustainability and energy performance measures in capital projects, and she led a comprehensive sustainability action plan that spurred electric bus fleet conversion and other improvements.
She also developed a project-based academic course, launched the institution’s first sustainability affinity space for students, initiated behavioral programs to reduce energy use in campus laboratories, developed a sustainability outreach and storytelling program, and spearheaded the institution’s first environmental justice training program.
Weber is lead editor for the Ivy+ Sustainability Consortium collective impact report for executive leadership. U-M is a member of the consortium and participates in other sustainability partnerships such as the Midwest Climate Collaborative, the University Climate Change Coalition and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge.
Weber earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in environmental science, specializing in climate science, from Indiana University, a master’s degree in political and cultural studies from Holy Names College in California and an undergraduate degree in zoology from Ohio State University.
The appointment comes as U-M aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from purchased power to net zero by 2025 and eliminate emissions from on-campus sources by 2040. The university set its climate goals in May 2021 and is prioritizing scalable, transferable and environmentally just strategies.
U-M is on pace to cut in half its total Scope 1 and 2 emissions — those from on-campus sources and purchased power, respectively — by 2025, exceeding Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidance to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030.
Notable efforts include extensive geoexchange and solar energy plans across campuses, new maximum-emission standards for university buildings, vehicle fleet decarbonization, renewable-energy power-purchase agreements, extensive community partnerships and sustainable investments.