First KU strategic initiative summit to explore theme of Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World

Thursday, November 17, 2011
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The University of Kansas community will participate in the first all-day strategic initiative summit, Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World, starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The summit is hosted by the Office of the Provost and will take place at The Commons in Spooner Hall.

The attendance and participation of individuals from across the KU community are imperative to the success of the summits, and registration for the Nov. 18 summit has exceeded the space available. To check on space availability, please email Paul Klute. For those unable to participate in person, a live video stream will be available on the Provost’s strategic initiative page. Visitors will be able to watch the morning and lunch sessions online, but will not be able to participate in the summit.

“Our first summit will provide an opportunity to gain greater understanding of the relationships between physical systems, living systems and social systems, and how KU can direct resources to making advances at the intersection of energy, environment and sustainability,” says Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeff Vitter.

Bold Aspirations, the strategic plan for the University of Kansas, sets a course for the next five years. Along with six strategic goals, the plan includes four strategic initiative themes to build on KU’s strengths and meet the challenges of the 21st century. Each theme will be the focus of an all-day summit.

The first theme, Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World, recognizes that one of the greatest challenges of our time is to make discoveries to provide better stewardship of our resources and to become better caretakers of our environment while helping industry to meet the energy needs of our state and nation. The morning session will feature KU faculty presentations, while the afternoon session will feature breakout sessions so summit participants can work on generating a final report. There will also be a luncheon panel featuring the deans of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Journalism, Business, and Architecture, Design, and Planning.

“Strategic initiatives are meant to build upon KU's intellectual strengths, magnify the impact of the investments we make and help spread the story of KU excellence to our many stakeholders,” Vitter says. “For KU to remain forward-looking and relevant, we must effectively and wisely invest in our most promising opportunities for recognition and resources.”

The faculty speakers for Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World are
• Don Worster, Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of U.S. History
• Joy Ward, associate professor, ecology and evolutionary biology
• Town Peterson, University Distinguished Professor, Biodiversity Institute and ecology and evolutionary biology
• Stacey Swearingen White, associate professor, urban planning
• Susan Williams, associate professor, chemical and petroleum engineering
• George Bittlingmayer, Wagnon Distinguished Professor of Finance, business
• Bala Subramaniam, Dan F. Servey Distinguished Professor of CPE and director, Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis
• Judy Wu, University Distinguished Professor, physics and astronomy.