Sustainability Ph.D. gets state approval
Oct. 17, 2008
by Will Dube
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RIT has received New York state approval for its doctoral degree in sustainability. The Ph.D. program is the first in the world focused on sustainable production and seeks to advance research and education in alternative-energy development, sustainable design, green product development, industrial ecology and pollution prevention.
The program is being offered through RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, a comprehensive academic, training and technology-transfer center devoted to enhancing the development of sustainable systems in all aspects of society.
“The sustainability Ph.D. program will enhance RIT’s continued efforts to create cutting edge academic research and innovation that has real world impact,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “In addition, the combined training and education initiatives provided by the Golisano Institute will prepare our next generation of scientists and engineers to meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century.”
“The Golisano Institute for Sustainability is dedicated to developing and implementing technologies that enhance environmental quality while also promoting economic efficiency and productivity,” notes Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute. “The creation of this doctoral degree will allow us to take the next step in developing research, technologies and education that make the twin goals of economic competitiveness and environmental quality a reality.”
RIT plans to admit students into the program immediately and is also recruiting additional faculty and research associates. Development of the program is made possible through an initial grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was founded in 2007 thanks to a $10 million gift from B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc. and an RIT trustee. The center has received additional funding from the Chester & Dorris Carlson Charitable Fund, Xerox Corp., the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. RIT is developing plans for the construction of a new facility that will house the Golisano Institute and Ph.D. program.
“I am confident that this Ph.D. program will combine with our additional initiatives to make the Golisano Institute for Sustainability one of the leading institutes of its kind in our nation and throughout the world,” adds Jeremy Haefner, RIT’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “RIT hopes to be at the forefront of the effort to make our society and our planet more sustainable for today and for generations to come.”