Womble Carlyle Construction Industry Blog

Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

AASHE Conference Highlights Sustainability Agenda, Colleges and Local Governments

The second biennial conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) was held at the new Raleigh (NC) Convention Center from November 9-12. The purpose of the conference was to provide a "unique opportunity for every sector of higher education in the United States & Canada to come together to demonstrate how colleges and universities can lead the way to a sustainable future." AASHE lined up host institutions Appalachian State University, Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the theme of "working Together for Sustainability -- On Campus and Beyond." Admission also included a tradeshow highlighting sustainable solutions from a range of providers from Cree, Siemens and Duke Energy to Aramark, Ecolab and Johnson Controls.

The stated goals for the AASHE conference were to:

  • Advance sustainability practices on campus and beyond through partnerships and collaborations.
  • Increase the integration of social responsibility & social justice into mainstream campus sustainability.
  • Promote new pathways for elevating sustainability education and student leadership development.
  • Magnify the role of campuses as responsible members of communities, both local and global.
  • Involve a wider range of participants in advancing sustainability in higher education.

Further conference detail may be found at http://www.aashe.org/conf2008/schedule.php.

As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the closing panel highlighted ways that colleges and other sustainability interests can work with local governments. Speakers included moderator Jim Elder, the director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, the clerk of courts from Miami-Dade County Florida, the mayor of Chapel Hill and Debra Rowe, a professor at Oakland Community College. Professor Rowe, "who is famously involved in countless sustainability organizations and efforts, said that many campus career offices don’t tell students about the sustainability jobs that city governments will need to fill in the future. Sustainability advocates, she said, should use that potential demand to push sustainability education on campus." (This entry published by Liz Riley, a member of Womble Carlyle's construction and real estate development practice group.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ten Battle-tested Rules for Communicating Well in Hard Times

The line of organizations delivering bad news these days is a long one. And with the financial market challenges causing a ripple effect across the broader economy, that line may be long across America for some time. Communicating tough news is an unenviable task, and legal advisers are increasingly called upon to guide clients through the delivery of news that can be jarring: layoffs, declining profits, product recalls and ethical breaches, to name a few. Henry Fawell, a Strategic Communications consultant at Womble Carlyle based in the firm's Baltimore office, outlines how you can communicate effectively as an organization during difficult financial times.

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