Back

Letter from Higher Education Leaders on Climate Action

Background

“A Clean Energy Future is Needed for the success of our students”

This letter was collaboratively developed by a diverse group of Higher Education Institutions and Second Nature, and released on Dec. 19, 2016. The final letter was sent to the new Congressional delegation and incoming Presidential transition team on January 17, 2017.


Dear President-elect Trump and Members of the United States Congress,

We, the undersigned leaders of higher education institutions throughout the United States, recognize our academic and ethical responsibilities to current and future generations to take aggressive climate action; to reduce our sector’s carbon pollution, to support interdisciplinary climate education, and to continue research that expands our understanding of rapidly changing earth systems. We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.

We join our colleagues in the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, many of our institutions have voluntarily set even more aggressive carbon reduction goals to lead our sector forward and to demonstrate what is possible for others.

Therefore, we ask that you support the following:

1. Participation in the Paris Agreement, with the resulting national carbon reduction and clean energy targets, to protect the health of our current communities and our future generations.

2. Research in our academic institutions and in federal agencies to ensure that our national climate, energy, and security policies are based on leading scientific and technical knowledge.

3. Investments in the low carbon economy as part of a resilient infrastructure to ensure the country can adapt to changing climate hazards. These investments will also help grow American jobs and businesses.

The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities. This is particularly important for those in our communities most vulnerable to climate change. Your support for these three areas is a critical investment in the future of the millions of students we serve. We will continue to prepare graduates for the workforce as well as lead in world-class research and innovation in order to secure a healthier and more prosperous future for all.

We stand ready to assist your incoming Administration and congressional representatives to embrace this opportunity for the nation to meet these unprecedented global challenges.

Respectfully,

  • Raymond Crossman, President, Adler University
  • Elizabeth Kiss, President, Agnes Scott College
  • Don Bantz, President, Alaska Pacific University
  • James Mullen, President, Allegheny College
  • Karan Powell, President, American Public University System
  • Sara Wenger Shenk, President, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
  • Thomas Manley, President, Antioch College (OH)
  • William Groves, Interim Chancellor, Antioch University
  • Melinda Treadwell, Provost, Antioch University New England
  • Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • Paul Pribbenow, President, Augsburg College
  • Leon Botstein, President, Bard College
  • Debora Spar, President, Barnard College
  • Laura Coleman, President, Bay de Noc Community College
  • Jill Wakefield, Interim President, Bellevue College
  • Mariko Silver, President, Bennington College
  • Terrence Leas, President, Big Bend Community College
  • Glen LeRoy, President, Boston Architectural College
  • Mickey Burnim, President, Bowie State University
  • Christina Paxson, President, Brown University
  • John Bravman, President, Bucknell University
  • Pam Eddinger, President, Bunker Hill Community College
  • Christopher Kimball, President, California Lutheran University
  • Timothy White, Chancellor, California State University System
  • Horace Mitchell, President, California State University-Bakersfield
  • Gayle Hutchinson, President, California State University-Chico
  • Jane Conoley, President, California State University-Long Beach
  • Eduardo Ochoa, President, California State University-Monterey Bay
  • Dianne Harrison, President, California State University-Northridge
  • Robert Nelsen, President, California State University-Sacramento
  • Gregory Smith, President, Central Community College
  • James Gaudino, President, Central Washington University
  • Robert Mohrbacher, President, Centralia College
  • Donald Laackman, President, Champlain College
  • William Guerriero, Interim President, Chandler-Gilbert Community College
  • David Finegold, President, Chatham University
  • David Angel, President, Clark University
  • Anthony Collins, President, Clarkson University
  • Ronald Berkman, President, Cleveland State University
  • David McInally, President, Coe College
  • Susan Stuebner, President, Colby-Sawyer College
  • Brian Casey, President, Colgate University
  • David Coon, President/Superintendent, College of Marin
  • Diana Morris, President, College of Menominee Nation
  • Darron Collins, President, College of the Atlantic
  • Richard Cummins, President, Columbia Basin College
  • Joyce Judy, President, Community College of Vermont
  • Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College
  • Jean Goodnow, President, Delta College
  • Neil Weissman, Acting President, Dickinson College
  • Earl Martin, President, Drake University
  • MaryAnn Baenninger, President, Drew University
  • Elsa Nunez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Lee Snyder, President, Eastern Mennonite University
  • Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College
  • Leo Lambert, President, Elon University
  • Lee Pelton, President, Emerson College
  • Jake Schrum, President, Emory & Henry College
  • Joyce Brown, President, Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY)
  • James Anderson, Chancellor, Fayetteville State University
  • Anne Prisco, President, Felician University
  • Frank Sims, Interim President, Fisk University
  • Wilson G. Bradshaw, President, Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Thuy Nguyen, President, Foothill College
  • Judy Miner, Chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community College District System
  • Dene Thomas, President, Fort Lewis College
  • Javier Cevallos, President, Framingham State University
  • Daniel Porterfield, President, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Ronald Nowaczyk, President, Frostburg State University
  • Elizabeth Davis, President, Furman University
  • Roberta Cordano, President, Gallaudet University
  • Joseph Marbach, President, Georgian Court University
  • Thayne McCulloh, President, Gonzaga University
  • James Brenneman, President, Goshen College
  • José A. Bowen, President, Goucher College
  • Elaine Maimon, President, Governors State University
  • Jim Minkler, President, Grays Harbor College
  • Robert Allen, President, Green Mountain College
  • Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College
  • Kimberly Benston, President, Haverford College
  • William Maki, President, Hibbing Community College
  • Mark Gearan, President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Lisa Rossbacher, President, Humboldt State University
  • Larry Dietz, President, Illinois State University
  • William Lowe, Chancellor, Indiana University Northwest
  • James Di Liberto, President, Island Drafting and Technical Institute
  • Jorge Gonzalez, President, Kalamazoo College
  • Marilyn Schlack, President, Kalamazoo Valley Community College
  • Alison Byerly, President, Lafayette College
  • Thomas Pleger, President, Lake Superior State University
  • Linda Lujan, President, Lamar Community College
  • Mary Spilde, President, Lane Community College
  • Lewis Thayne, President, Lebanon Valley College
  • Thomas Hellie, President, Linfield College
  • Jo Ann Rooney, President, Loyola University Chicago
  • Brian Linnane, President, Loyola University Maryland
  • Kenneth Garren, President, Lynchburg College
  • Brian Rosenberg, President, Macalester College
  • Sasan Poureetezadi, Interim President, Mesa Community College
  • John Anderson, President, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth Hillman, President, Mills College
  • Vicki Martin, President, Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Sharon Pierce, President, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • Sylvia Jenkins, President, Moraine Valley Community College
  • Debra Derr, President, Mt. Hood Community College
  • Charles Lief, President, Naropa University
  • Sue Henderson, President, New Jersey City University
  • Andrew Hamilton, President, New York University
  • Harold Martin, Sr., Chancellor, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Johnson Akinleye, Acting Chancellor, North Carolina Central University
  • Warren Brown, President, North Seattle College
  • Patricia Gentile, President, North Shore Community College
  • Michael Miller, President, Northland College
  • John Jasinski, President, Northwest Missouri State University
  • Joianne Smith, President, Oakton Community College
  • Marvin Krislov, President, Oberlin College
  • Jonathan Veitch, President, Occidental College
  • Roderick McDavis, President, Ohio University
  • Edward Ray, President, Oregon State University
  • Thomas Krise, President, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Paul Dale, President, Paradise Valley Community College
  • Cathy Dove, President, Paul Smith’s College
  • Melvin Oliver, President, Pitzer College
  • David Oxtoby, President, Pomona College
  • Mark Mitsui, President, Portland Community College
  • Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University
  • John Flicker, President, Prescott College
  • Carlee Drummer, President, Quinebaug Valley Community College
  • Bradley Bateman, President, Randolph College
  • Michael McDonough, President, Raritan Valley Community College
  • William Destler, President, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Donald Farish, President, Roger Williams University
  • Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey Newark Campus
  • James Dlugos, President, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
  • Patricia Meservey, President, Salem State University
  • Kathryn Jeffery, Superintendent/President, Santa Monica College
  • Elissa Tenny, President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Jan Gehler, President, Scottsdale Community College
  • Sheila Edwards Lange, President, Seattle Central College
  • Shouan Pan, Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
  • Susan Hencking, President, Shimer College
  • Cheryl Roberts, President, Shoreline Community College
  • Edward Coughlin, President, Siena College
  • Tom Keegan, President, Skagit Valley College
  • Philip Glotzbach, President, Skidmore College
  • Kathleen McCartney, President, Smith College
  • Gary Oertli, President, South Seattle College
  • Joe Bertolino, President, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Mary-Beth Cooper, President, Springfield College
  • Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York (SUNY)
  • James Stellar, Interim President, State University of New York at Albany
  • Harvey Stenger, President, State University of New York at Binghamton
  • Satish Tripathi, President, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Virginia Horvath, President, State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Donald Christian, President, State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Samuel Stanley, President, State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Heidi Macpherson, President, State University of New York College at Brockport
  • Katherine Conway-Turner, President, State University of New York College at Buffalo
  • Erik Bitterbaum, President, State University of New York College at Cortland
  • Denise Battles, President, State University of New York College at Geneseo
  • Nancy Kleniewski, President, State University of New York College at Oneonta
  • Deborah Stanley, President, State University of New York College at Oswego
  • John Ettling, President, State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
  • Kristin Esterberg, President, State University of New York College at Potsdam
  • Quentin Wheeler, President, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Merodie Hancock, President, State University of New York Empire State College
  • Harvey Kesselman, President, Stockton University
  • Cliff Wood, President, SUNY Rockland Community College
  • Valerie Smith, President, Swarthmore College
  • Barbara Gitenstein, President, The College of New Jersey
  • George Bridges, President, The Evergreen State College
  • Steven Knapp, President, The George Washington University
  • Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University
  • Karin Hilgersom, President, Truckee Meadows Community College
  • Anthony Monaco, President, Tufts University
  • Stephen Ainlay, President, Union College
  • Melik Khoury, President, Unity College
  • Ann Hart, President, University of Arizona
  • Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ralph Hexter, Acting Chancellor, University of California, Davis
  • Howard Gillman, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
  • Gene Block, Chancellor, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Dorothy Leland, Chancellor, University of California, Merced
  • Kim Wilcox, Chancellor, University of California, Riverside
  • Pradeep Khosla, Chancellor, University of California, San Diego
  • Sam Hawgood, Chancellor, University of California, San Francisco
  • Henry Yang, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • George Blumenthal, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Charles Ambrose, President, University of Central Missouri
  • Susan Herbst, President, University of Connecticut
  • Eric Spina, President, University of Dayton
  • Helen Cox, Chancellor, University of Hawai’i Kaua’i Community College
  • David Lassner, President, University of Hawai’i System
  • Michael Amiridis, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Robert Jones, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Timothy Killeen, President, University of Illinois System
  • Bruce Harreld, President, University of Iowa
  • Kathryn Foster, President, University of Maine at Farmington
  • Freeman Hrabowski III, President, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Donald Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • Kumble Subbaswamy, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Fred Wood, Chancellor, University of Minnesota-Crookston
  • Lendley Black, Chancellor, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Jacqueline Johnson, Chancellor, University of Minnesota-Morris
  • Danielle Ripich, President, University of New England
  • Mark Huddleston, President, University of New Hampshire
  • Philip Dubois, Chancellor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Jim Wohlpart, Interim President, University of Northern Iowa
  • Isiaah Crawford, President, University of Puget Sound
  • Ralph Kuncl, President, University of Redlands
  • David Dooley, President, University of Rhode Island
  • Sophia Wisniewska, President, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
  • Rodney Smith, President, University of The Bahamas
  • Mark Pagano, Chancellor, University of Washington, Tacoma
  • James Schmidt, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Dean Van Galen, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
  • Bernie Patterson, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  • Robert Caret, Chancellor, University System of Maryland
  • Marc Mihaly, President and Dean, Vermont Law School
  • Peter Donohue, President, Villanova University
  • Scott Miller, President, Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Rose Bellanca, President, Washtenaw Community College
  • Jonathan Gibralter, President, Wells College
  • Jim Richardson, President, Wenatchee Valley College
  • Michael Roth, President, Wesleyan University
  • John Dunn, President, Western Michigan University
  • Lee Rasch, President, Western Technical College
  • Sabah Randhawa, President, Western Washington University
  • Ramon Torrechila, President, Westfield State University
  • Kathi Hiyane-Brown, President, Whatcom Community College
  • Dennis Hanno, President, Wheaton College (MA)
  • David Chard, President, Wheelock College
  • Kathleen Murray, President, Whitman College
  • Stephen Thorsett, President, Willamette University
  • Adam Falk, President, Williams College

Quotes

Higher education chancellors and presidents submitted quotes answering “Why is strong federal and international Climate Action important to your Higher Education Institution?”.

Read all quotes here.