Middlebury College President Ronald Liebowitz landed on Time Magazine’s list of the top 10 college presidents in the country this week, earning kudos for pushing environmental initiatives at the college.
Time singled out Liebowitz for listening to students who, a few years back, proposed that Middlebury drastically cut its carbon emissions. Liebowitz helped students sell the board of trustees on the plan, and now the college has pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2016. The magazine also lauded the college’s progress toward that goal, citing the school’s new $12 million biomass gasification plant as a big step toward going carbon neutral. The plant has already cut Middlebury’s carbon footprint by 40 percent and reduced fuel costs.
“(Going green) is one of the highest priorities for the country," Liebowitz said. "It's key for colleges to take the lead and push the envelope. We need to give something back to society."
Liebowitz is joined on the “top 10” list by Ohio State University head E. Gordon Gee; New York University President John Sexton; University of Michigan President Mary Ann Coleman; Arizona State University President Michael Crow; Tulane University head Scott Cowen; Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron; Juliet García, head of the University of Texas at Brownsville; and University of California, Oakland, President Mark Yudof.