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ponderings

Finding creative ways to conserve resources and do more with less.

by Chancellor Anne Ponder

Anne Ponder

Anne Ponder

It would be easy in these turbulent economic times to be discouraged by the waves of bad news that seem to flood us daily—to let fear of the unknown take over. Allowing such discouragement would be a disservice to our campus and to the people of North Carolina. Instead, we are choosing to take this opportunity to focus even more carefully on what is most important for our students, our faculty and our university as a whole.

As we all face budget cuts, declining revenues and uncertainty, we must continue to balance our mission with our resources; we must choose not to do some things, or to find ways to fulfill our mission by doing things differently and more economically.

“While reaffirming our mission as a public liberal arts university, we can look to our strategic plan for guidance in using our resources wisely.”

And so, we are choosing a new distribution method for this summer issue of UNC Asheville Magazine. Instead of a printed copy, you are receiving this online version, which will not only save thousands of dollars but also will reach more readers who will be invigorated by the UNC Asheville story.

What that story demonstrates is a commitment to student and faculty success that is unwavering in this economic climate. While reaffirming our mission as a public liberal arts university, we can look to our strategic plan for guidance in using our resources wisely. Agreement about who we are and why we exist makes every decision—large and small—more manageable.

This issue of UNC Asheville Magazine adopts the theme of long-term sustainability, a major focus of our strategic plan. This issue contains articles that show how your university is finding creative ways to conserve resources and accomplish more with less. From the many “green” practices of Campus Operations to a “tray-less” cafeteria service that saves water and reduces waste, to the successful textbook buyback program that cuts costs for our students, UNC Asheville is adapting to these challenging times.

“From the many “green” practices of Campus Operations to a “tray-less” cafeteria service that saves water and reduces waste, to the successful textbook buyback program that cuts costs for our students, UNC Asheville is adapting to these challenging times”

Also in this issue, our lead story by alumna Marla Hardee Milling explains the comprehensive Farmland Values Project, directed by Economics professor Leah Greden Mathews. The project involves student researchers, masses of data and community input. Marla also covers the local food movement, highlighting UNC Asheville’s role.

Other features include profiles of alumni who enjoy “green” careers: Janet Peterson ’76, who maintains her family’s 200-acre Fairview farm; building consultant Chris Mathis ’72; environmental engineer Jonathan Pullin ’90; and solar energy corporate leader Scott Clark. In celebration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we showcase the work of History Department Chair Dan Pierce, author of The Great Smokies: From Natural Habitat to National Park.

Creativity is everywhere, and these times require us to be open to it. Pulling together feels so much better than waiting and worrying.

We welcome your ideas and comments on how we can best work together in fulfilling our mission: to serve as the standard of excellence in public liberal arts education. Communication is crucial to this endeavor as we navigate these times. Let us hear from you.

Sincerely,

Anne Ponder
Chancellor

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