New position filled to aid ‘green’ efforts

Amy Short has been hired for the newly created sustainability coordinator position at the University.

Andy Steinke

In an attempt to organize and focus its many “green” efforts, the University has created, and filled, a new position: sustainability coordinator.

on the web

For more information about sustainability at the University, go to sustainableU/index.html.

Amy Short, 46, was hired for the job and started Monday morning. She was put to work quickly as she met with five University leaders in sustainability at the Thompson Center for Environmental Management during the last leg of a multi-campus tour being hosted by the Sierra Club.

The University created Short’s position late last year and will be focused on building upon sustainability efforts in the University Services office. The position has received funding for two years, with the possibility of becoming permanent thereafter, Short said.

University Services Chief of Staff Leslie Krueger said the position was created because the University saw there was a need for a coordinator.

“Vice President (of University Services) Kathy O’Brien identified the need for leveraging all the great things going on at the University in sustainability,” she said.

The position was also becoming increasingly necessary. According to O’Brien, Director of Utilities Jerome Malmquist was receiving numerous requests from faculty members to make presentations about where the University was with respect to its sustainability efforts.

So part of Short’s job is to be a liaison to the academic community on where the University stands on its sustainability initiatives.

O’Brien said Short will have four major responsibilities, including the facilitation of all sustainability-related operations within University Services and to help those operations become more successful.

Short will help O’Brien fill President Bob Bruininks’ University-wide Sustainability Goals and Outcomes Committee, which will set sustainability goals for the University.

Short will coordinate the University’s participation in several national organizations, like the Chicago Climate Exchange and the American Association for Sustainability and Higher Education.

And lastly, she will be working with the sustainability committees on the other University system campuses to gather ideas from each branch.

The Twin Cities campus is the second University branch to hire a sustainability coordinator. The Morris campus hired a coordinator in September 2006.

Short comes to the University after 17 years at 3M, where she was a regulatory manager. She was chosen from more than 60 applicants who had an array of backgrounds, Krueger said.

Short’s background is in environmental engineering, which she mastered in at the University.

“There is so much happening in the University to bring sustainability principles into practice,” Short said. “I want to support these University efforts and be a part of building a stronger leadership position for the University of Minnesota.”