Councils Start New Year With Joint Retreat
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
January 16, 2008
The EEC, PAT and OS Councils got together this month for their annual
retreat to discuss collective issues they want to address during the coming
year. The day-long event was held at the Alumni Center on Jan. 9.
Each council took an hour in the morning to conduct their individual business
and then came back together for two topical forums. The first had Wanda
Mitchell, chief diversity officer, Rochelle L’Italien, dietitian,
and Elizabeth Farrell and Brett Pasinella of the Office of Sustainability,
discussing lifestyle issues at UNH.
Prior to the forum, each gave an overview of their area with Mitchell
discussing diversity, L’Italien speaking on health and wellness,
and Farrell presenting an overview of the Office of Sustainability’s
“Each of you can make a difference. One person with the title of
chief diversity officer can only do so much,” Mitchell said. “Diversity
should be woven into the very fiber of all the things we do.”
L’Italien led the group through a food meditation aimed at helping
people think differently about eating.
“All foods can fit,” L’Italien said. “The key
is how much and how often.”
UNH’s Office of Sustainability is the oldest endowed sustainability
program in higher education in the country, according to Farrell, who touched
on the numerous initiatives the office supports. Those include biodiversity
education; climate education; food and science; and culture and sustainability.
The second forum addressed development issues on campus and included Tom
Franke, Computing and Information Services; Doug Bencks and Stephen Pesci,
Campus Planning; and Sarah Gnerre UNH Foundation.
Franke spoke to the increasing security threats computer use presents.
“It used to be it was pranksters doing the hacking. Now the threats
are led by organized crime,” Franke said. As a result, UNH is moving
toward the elimination of social security numbers as the primary form of
student identification. Franke said they also will be working to create
strong security programs.
Bencks outlined the numerous major projects either in progress or set
to be launched this year. They include the methane gas pipeline now in
the works that will provide most of UNH’s energy needs; the research
pier in New Castle; the demolition and rebuilding of Demeritt Hall; the
planned additions to James Hall and Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory;
and the renovation of Fairchild, New Hampshire Hall; and Huddleston Hall.
Additionally, the railroad station is undergoing renovations and bike
lanes will be carved out on the west end of Main Street as they have been
on the eastern side.
Gnerre is a senior associate with the foundation’s major gift program.
She briefly explained the process of working with alumni to make donations,
pointing out that UNH’s 110,000 living alumni represent the largest
percentage of donors.
She also noted the foundation is only about 17 years old, young in comparison
to many universities, and that during the last campaign, there were 18
gifts of $1 million or more.
The day ended with the councils identifying three shared priorities: improving
communication methods to constituents, creating solutions to combat the
rising cost of health care, and showing and promoting existing efficiencies
that save money and contain costs.