From the President’s Desk
This issue of Chico Statements focuses on two topics
that underscore what it means for the University to translate a
keen sense of place
into future-focused and values-guided performance.
Sustainability is about our future and our responsibility to develop
environmentally literate citizens and to promote the effective
stewardship of our resources. It is about recognizing our obligations
to develop principles and adopt practices that foster greater sensitivity
to environmental issues and enable a better standard of living
for those who follow us. It is about respecting the trust placed
in us to care about our planet and our heritage.
We all recognize that one of the strongest hallmarks of our university
is the beautiful and engaging physical environment of our campus.
It is a unique setting, rich in history and harmony between its
natural and built elements. Emphasizing and preserving this distinctiveness
is a central tenet of our recently approved Master Plan by the
CSU Board of Trustees. At the heart of the Master Plan is a recognition
that the physical design and features of the campus should reinforce
our educational mission.
We do this not only through landscaping, building placement, open
space, and a pleasing architectural vocabulary, but also through
the choices we make regarding construction and maintenance. An
important choice we have made is to design all new and renovation
projects to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) certification. This is, in effect, the national standard
for sustainability practices. Our commitment to this standard signals
not only our goal to make Chico State the “green” campus
of California, but also our approach to “teach” sustainability
through institutional example.
The relationship with the Mechoopda is also about obligations predicated
on respect and history that have been formed through shared space.
In October, the University signed a formal memorandum of understanding
with the Mechoopda that pledged mutual dialogue and cooperation
in the further development of the campus. In essence, the agreement
affirms that we will work together to protect the cultural heritage
of the tribal community wherever evidence of that heritage manifests
itself. The environments of Big Chico Creek and the Bidwell Mansion
site are examples of two particularly sensitive areas that the
agreement will govern.
As LEED certification is more than a sustainability issue, the
agreement with the Mechoopda is more than an expression of good
neighborliness. Both matters speak to values that are firmly rooted
in the land. Both actions challenge our trustworthiness and vision.
We aim to be true to our word in respecting our environment and
those who share it with us and to be clear in our goal to provide
exemplary behavior as a steward and a partner.
How we align our actions with our values is a measurement of our
integrity and quality. The University’s sustainability agenda
and its relationship with the Mechoopda are clear indications of
this alignment. They contribute to the larger story of a university
fully aware of its responsibilities and keenly committed to fulfilling