The UofL Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a bachelor’s degree in sustainability, a center to study and prevent student failures, and a new slate of officers for the coming year.

The board approved the Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability program, which will train students to research, identify, implement and monitor sustainable processes and systems. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Urban and Public Affairs, the interdisciplinary program is designed to prepare students for careers in sustainability-related areas such as the environment, energy, climate change, public policy, transportation and urban and regional planning. It also will give students a solid base from which to pursue graduate training in related fields.

The board also approved the Center for Instructional and Behavioral Research in Schools. Building on existing work in the College of Education and Human Development, the center will promote and fund research and community outreach to help prevent student failures in schools. Departments throughout the CEHD and other units across campus will focus on learning and behavioral disorders. Current work that will be absorbed into the center includes the Academic and Behavior Response to Intervention (ABRI) project, which supports thousands of teacher-student classroom observations, analysis from their work and instructional videos used in teacher training. It also includes the State Personnel Development Grant, which trains school personnel from across Kentucky in effective instructional strategies for students who are at risk of failing in reading and mathematics.

In other action, the trustees elected a new slate of officers. They are: Larry Benz, chair; Craig Greenberg, vice chair; Stephen Campbell, treasurer; Bill Summers, secretary.

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John Drees
John Drees is a 32-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As senior associate vice president/director of campus communication, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.