Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone launches green institute

'Every day needs to be Earth Day,' says college president Treadway

By Angela Woodall, Staff writer.

Saturday, August 26, 2006—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area: The Argus.

Fremont—Death, drought and pollution await the Earth unless the clock is turned back on global warming. That was the gloomy message Ohlone College President Doug Treadway delivered Friday in his State of the College address.

"The evidence for global warming is overwhelming, and political attempts to deny it are unconscionable," Treadway said, citing predictions from former Vice President Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth."

OHLONE COLLEGE PRESIDENT Doug Treadway sets out his goals for the coming year, including a project to combat global warming, at the State of the College address Friday. The event kicks off the beginning of the fall semester, which starts Monday. —Photo by YUKI SAITO-MILLER - Staff.

In response, the college is launching a program to create Earth-friendly goals for Ohlone, Treadway announced. He will appoint a coordinator to work with the Sustainability Institute, which will handle green-Earth projects, services and grants sometime after October.

As some audience members looked annoyed or perplexed at the direction he was steering the talk, Treadway evoked the image 200 years ago of elk grazing the now bare hills above the college, grizzly bears lumbering down to creeks to fish, and the Ohlone Indians living harmoniously on the once-fertile land.

Treadway praised Ohlone's effort to change its pollution-creating habits, such as the solar energy design at the Newark campus. But the Fremont campus has budgeted $1.4 million for utilities in the current 2006-07 fiscal year, he added.

"We are consuming too much energy, using too much paper and creating too much garbage on this campus," he said. "Every day needs to be Earth Day at Ohlone."

On a brighter note, the college will kick off the fall semester on Monday with a higher enrollment and a larger budget than in the past three lean years.

"Many elements of our enrollment … strategy are bearing good fruit," Treadway said.

Still, enrollment has not been restored to its base, although Treadway hoped a $6 drop in fees to $20 per unit starting in the spring semester would help toward that goal.

Meanwhile, the college was above the state average for student retention and success last year, Treadway said.

But "we must keep up all our efforts at both enrollment and retention of Ohlone students," he warned.

News about the budget was equally mixed. Although it is one of the best in recent memory because of an infusion of one-time state dollars, Treadway said the improvement is temporary and called on college employees to be "more entrepreneurial and resourceful."

"While we are glad for a temporary budget improvement, we all know that California expects more from the community colleges than it financially supports," Treadway said.

Staff writer Angela Woodall covers Newark and Ohlone College. She can be reached at (510) 353-7004 or at awoodall@angnewspapers.com.

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