Arizona State University has often stood out for its efforts to be ecofriendly. Since launching the country's first school of sustainability in 2007, the large college—about 60,000 students—has been praised by environmental groups as one of America's greenest universities. This week, the school will announce a partnership with Grist.org, an eccentric online magazine that critically and humorously covers environmental news, to deliver a biweekly e-mail newsletter to the campus with local and national reporting on sustainability. ASU president Michael Crow, who also heads a union of university presidents to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions, spoke to NEWSWEEK's Daniel Stone about the school's efforts. Excerpts:
STONE: What ' s the educational component in promoting sustainability?
CROW : Right now we learn in ways that don't allow us to conceptualize sustainable-based issues. We're trying to broaden the way that we learn. And central to the way we do sustainability is breaking down what limits our thinking.
Take me through your thinking in the partnership with Grist.
There is no way that we can attack the issues without attacking the status quo from every angle in every way. Grist is a catalyst to stimulate thinking about the status quo.
What kinds of jobs are students studying sustainability training for?
About half go into teaching and research and the other half want to go into problem-solving in NGOs, local governments and industry. We're producing people with broad backgrounds who are problem solvers.
There are surely diverse opinions about making these changes so quickly.
The things that we're doing are the products of those debates. Are there some people who are unhappy with those decisions? Sure, but those are very few in number.