College and university presidents from across the state of Tennessee gathered at Belmont University Wednesday, March 28, 2007, to sign the Talloires Declaration of the Association of University Leaders For a Sustainable Future (USLF) and commit to lead their respective institutions to achieve global environmental literacy and sustainability. Dr. Bob Fisher (Belmont University) will be joined by Dr. Hazel O’Leary (Fisk University) and Dr. Wayne Riley (Meharry Medical College) to sign the declaration. Dr. Loren Crabtree (University of Tennessee at Knoxville), Dr. George Van Allen (Nashville State Technological Community College) and Dr. Forrest Harris (American Baptist College) have sent electronic signatures for the declaration but were not able to attend the signing in person. Many presidents from the Tennessee Board of Regents lent their support but could not attend due to a previously scheduled Board of Regents meeting.
In signing the Talloires Declaration, these presidents agreed to increase awareness of environmentally sustainable development, create an institutional culture of sustainability, educate for environmentally responsible citizenship, foster environmental literacy for all, practice institutional ecology and involve all stakeholders, collaborate for interdisciplinary approaches, enhance capacity of primary and secondary schools, broaden service and outreach nationally and internationally and maintain the movement.
“Signing this declaration is a great example of how universities should work,” Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said. “Our faculties and students are excited. This is exactly what our universities want to do.”
The Talloires Declaration signing at Belmont was held in conjunction with Belmont Goes Green Week March 26-30 and the Campus Sustainability Conference March 29 and 30, a conference to explore and advance environmental stewardship within the state’s institutions of higher education, hosted by the Tennessee Pollution Prevention Roundtable Committee on Higher Education.