University launches search for vice provost for sustainability


Provost Laurie K. McCauley has launched a search for the University of Michigan’s inaugural vice provost for sustainability and climate action.

The position, formally approved by the Board of Regents in May, will advance sustainability education and research across U-M schools and colleges.

“I’m pleased to begin this search and establish a position that will further elevate our campuswide approach to sustainability education and research,” McCauley said. “Universities must play a critical role in addressing the climate crisis.

“A vice provost for sustainability will enable U-M to foster multidisciplinary strategies that optimize our students’ ability to function in a world that will benefit from their passion and skills to secure the future of our planet.”

The vice provost for sustainability and climate action will lead interdisciplinary engagement on environmental topics, explore opportunities to integrate sustainability within core curricula and support critical research that addresses the climate crisis.

The position also will advance U-M’s role as a living-learning lab toward climate solutions, in collaboration with the associate vice president for campus sustainability and schools, colleges and units across U-M.

The committee has been charged with conducting a broad search and presenting a slate of unranked candidates to McCauley, who will recommend a finalist for approval by the Board of Regents.

Elizabeth A. Davis, professor of education in the Marsal Family School of Education, will chair a 17-member search committee that also includes:

  • María Arquero de Alarcón, associate professor of architecture and urban and regional planning in the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
  • Andrew Buchsbaum, lecturer at the Law School.
  • Aimee Classen, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in LSA, and director of the U-M Biological Station.
  • Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief environmental, social and governance officer for Michigan Medicine.
  • Lashaun Jackson, undergraduate senior and concurrent accelerated master’s student studying environmental justice and food.
  • Maria Carmen Lemos, professor of environment and sustainability in the School for Environment and Sustainability; and professor of environment in the Program in the Environment, LSA and SEAS.
  • Eric Kosmowski, U-M alumnus and managing partner with Princeville Capital.
  • Aradhna Krishna, Dwight F. Benton Professor of Marketing and professor of marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
  • Marie O’Neill, professor of environmental health sciences and of epidemiology in the School of Public Health.
  • Brad Orr, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; professor of physics in LSA; and associate vice president for research – natural sciences and engineering in the Office of the Vice President for Research.
  • Allison Steiner, acting chair and professor of climate and space sciences and engineering in the College of Engineering.
  • Joseph Trumpey, associate professor of art in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design; associate professor of natural resources in SEAS; and associate professor of Program in the Environment in LSA and SEAS; Director of Sustainable Living Experience.
  • Lori Tschirhart, assistant director of STEM/Science in the University Library, and librarian liaison to the LSA Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
  • Taylor Valentine, graduate student at SEAS.
  • Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy and professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor; founding director of the Center for Racial Justice; and professor of sociology in LSA; Research and Community Impact Fellow, Anti-Racism Collaborative.
  • Shana S. Weber, associate vice president for campus sustainability.

The committee conducted its first meeting Sept. 28. Questions and nominations for prospective candidates can be directed to [email protected].


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