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Our process was pretty much like everybody else’s. It was all about paper and very time consuming.

THE CALL CAME IN AT 9:22 P.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 2, FROM THE Radford University (Va.) EMS team, an all-student, volunteer rescue squad, that there had been a fatal shooting just one block from campus. Dennie Templeton, who directs the school’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, remembers the time exactly, because within 15 minutes he had set up an emergency operations center (EOC) to interact with the outside responders who were fast arriving at the 9,500-student school.

Higher education institutions were implementing sustainability initiatives long before it became fashionable. As the economic downturn causes campus leaders to reassess all aspects of their budgets, green programs are being spared because they can lead to both financial and environmental savings.

Green?in its duality no other word better reflects opposing forces at work on today’s campuses. For financial leaders, “green” is in short supply as colleges and universities face a financial storm of historic proportions. Endowments are declining, legislative allotments are decreasing, and tuition increases threaten to make higher education inaccessible. At many universities, budget cuts are rampant, causing more than a few leaders to question the very sustainability of the institutions they serve.

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