Dr. Preston Pulliams, District President
Welcome. I hope you’re having a great summer as we get ready to kick off the 2010-11 academic year at Portland Community College.
Everyone talks about sustainability, but one of the messages I hope you hear at this year’s In-Service celebration is that we walk the walk. You can see it in the way we have blended sustainable practices into the curriculum, from construction to hybrid vehicle repairs. You can see it in the Platinum LEED Standard that our new Willow Creek Center received.
This year’s In-Service speaker is no stranger to the topic of sustainability. Dr. Rusty Stephens, president of North Carolina’s Wilson Community College, first focused on that topic when he worked at a campus located in a major strip-mining region of America and saw the environmental devastation there. He has become convinced of both the peril and the promise inherent in a paradigm shift to sustainable thinking with its great opportunity for fundamental improvement in the human condition.
Keynote Speaker: Rusty Stephens
He went on to serve 35 years in community colleges, as an instructor, director, dean, vice president and president. He has been president of Wilson Community College since 2003. There, he has overseen construction of a LEED Gold Standard building, retrofitted existing buildings to be greener, and served on the Sustainability Task Force for the American Association of Community Colleges.
As you can see, he fits right in at Portland Community College. I’m excited to hear his message of sustainability in the world of post-secondary education.
Certainly there are challenges to being a more environmentally friendly college, especially in a time when enrollment is up almost 20 percent over last year and our state funding has been cut by an estimated 14 percent over two years. But staff and faculty are up to meeting those challenges head-on.
Thank you, and welcome to another great year.
Dr. Preston Pulliams
District President, Portland Community College