Paul Draper Named First Director of Sustainability at SSU

Paul Draper, Theatre Arts & Dance, has been named the first Director of Sustainability at SSU after the successful implementation of Water Works ( across the campus last year. He will also chair the Sustainability Executive Committee, which was formed by Academic Senate action and approved by President Ruben Armiñana last spring. This position is a two-year assignment.

Provost Andrew Rogerson made the appointment saying:

"Paul played a central role in developing and coordinating the successful Water Works program. The collaborative effort included academics, exhibitions, performances and activities focused on exploring inland water flow as a resource, theme and metaphor. Paul’s commitment to sustainability efforts and education make him an ideal choice for the Director of Sustainability position."

The Director of Sustainability is responsible for

  • serving as a primary SSU contact for long-term or complex sustainability initiatives, including coordination with community partners
  • convening, working with, and undertaking priorities of a Sustainability Executive Committee
  • keeping track of, communicating, and advertising sustainability activities on campus fostering cross-school curriculum needed to address sustainability issues
  • encouraging, soliciting and enhancing active participation among students, faculty, staff, and community partners in achieving sustainability goals
  • seeking external funding for priority initiatives and collaborating with diversity and community engagement initiatives

In discussing this new position, Draper says,

“Sustainability is an ongoing series of efforts, small and large, that lead to change in the way we manage the environment, see and remake culture, and construct new economic models to create a sustainable world. There are a many, many of folks on campus who are deeply passionate and very knowledgeable about these issues—far more knowledgeable than me. I have learned quite quickly that sustainability isn’t something anyone person directs—so the title Director of Sustainability is something of a contradiction. As I see it, my role and the role of the Sustainability Executive Committee (SEC) is to publicize, support, and foster sustainability actions and ideas on campus, and to connect on-campus efforts with the community. Increased academic engagement is key. Faculty in particular, as well as administration and staff, need to teach and engage students about sustainability, and in turn listen and respond when student learning and action speaks to the whole University community about opportunities and responsibilities toward sustainability. That reciprocity is crucial to developing tipping points toward a truly sustainable University, community and world. It comes down to a huge question: what world will our current students inhabit in 25 or 50 years? Education, decisions and actions taken now—for good or ill—will determine that future."

Draper is a professor of theatre arts specializing in acting and directing. He has been director of the Acting Program for 15 years, and immediate past chair of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, a post he held for seven years. He also spent six years as chair of the General Education Subcommittee.