Wednesday, August 10, 2022

New employee to act as environment safeguard

June 7, 2001

MSU is on the lookout for a new employee.

But it will be the new employee’s job to look out for environmental safety on campus.

The environmental safety director position was created by university officials this summer to help oversee campus environment issues.

Although the search for the director will last throughout the summer, officials say the issues aren’t being ignored now.

“We could use the director of environmental safety to make a good system even better,” said Kathy Lindahl, assistant vice president for Finance and Operations. “I think what we are looking at is that we have a pretty good base of folks that are assuring that we meet regulatory compliance thresholds, but we were looking for someone who could lead that group and the university to a new level.”

Lindahl said the director’s talents will be used in more than just regulation compliance.

Duties of the position require communication between environmental workers and groups on campus and helping to create the campus of the future.

“It’s kind of multifaceted here,” she said. “We’ve been working very hard as an institution. The environmental issues are pressing all colleges and universities. ”

The director’s duties will include assuring university compliance with safety regulations for air, water, fire and hazardous material waste management.

The employee also will oversee emergency planning.

As the leader of a campus group funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Campus Sustainability Office Director Terry Link said creating the position was a wise decision by the university.

“We’re trying to raise the awareness on campus, and trying to do it in a very collaborative way,” Link said. “My personal sense is that there will be more of an assurance that things are addressed that should be addressed.”

Although he expects the new director to be a behind-the-scenes worker, he hopes to see the position used for educational purposes as well.

“Everyday students who are not chemistry majors or working in a lab probably will not see them,” he said. “Maybe we’ll work on an educational component with this person. We’re going beyond compliance. We will work closely with that person.”

Although the new director is likely to help organize the environmental issues on campus while dealing with everything from air quality to campus greenery, Trustee David Porteous said MSU’s environmental situation can only improve.

“It has always been my sense and my experience that Michigan State has been a leader when it comes to environment,” he said. “I think it’s wise on the university’s part because this is an area that the federal government is looking at very carefully.

“I would say it’s an excellent move.”


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