An Integrated Approach to Environmental Challenges
The study of the environment is inherently interdisciplinary. Mitigating our environmental ills and avoiding further harm to the environment cannot be achieved by any single discipline acting alone. Securing the future of Earth’s diverse life forms and the ecosystems in which they are interdependent relies upon the thoughtful integration of society’s various areas of knowledge, supported by an ethical framework.
Pace University is uniquely positioned to approach environmental issues in a truly interdisciplinary fashion. As such, the new Pace Academy will engage expertise across the departments within the University’s Schools and College, to advance the understanding of the mutually enhancing relationship between nature and society. Through its programs, Pace Academy will foster curricular, scholarly, policy, and experiential, practice-based opportunities for our students, faculty, and broader community.
Pace University’s President, Stephen Friedman, released his Three Year Strategic Plan in January 2008, which included the development of “centers of excellence” intended to develop and promote high level collaborative and interdisciplinary programming in key thematic, academic areas throughout the University.
President Friedman called upon Joseph M. Pastore, Jr., Professor Emeritus (in Residence), to facilitate thinking and action in support of the development of such “centers.” Convened by Provost Brackett, and led by Dr. Pastore, a steering committee comprised of over twenty faculty representatives from each School and College in the University and one member of the University’s Board of Trustees met over a 12-month period. The Committee’s collaboration resulted in a Development Paper on creating centers of excellence generally, and a University Center for Excellence on the Environment, specifically. Provost Brackett then worked from that document to establish the leadership team composed of Michelle Land, John Cronin and the newly announced University Professor on the Environment Nicholas Robinson, proposed and developed an operational program with them, consulted again with the University-wide committee, and launched the Academy.
The Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, the first Pace University Center for Excellence is a freestanding institute within the Office of the Provost. This University-wide initiative will continue to be guided by an Executive Committee that draws upon representatives from each School and College, senior administration, University Relations and other strategic expertise within the institution.
Pace University’s Environmental History: A Robust and Long-Standing Commitment to the Environment