Peter Bardaglio and Andrea Putman’s groundbreaking book, Boldly Sustainable, provides a powerful strategy for colleges and universities to achieve renewal and relevance in the 21st century through innovation, academic rigor, and pragmatism. The book combines a refreshingly optimistic message of hope and opportunity with an honest critique of higher education, highlighting the need for transformative change. Case study examples throughout the book show how sustainability initiatives can stimulate excellence in teaching and learning while also encouraging improvements in physical operations. With a broad range of cases from public and private institutions of various sizes and rankings, the authors convincingly demonstrate how the creation of a campuswide culture of sustainabilitybrings many benefits in addition to positive ecological impacts. With forethought and effective planning, sustainability efforts can save money and increase efficiency while helping a university carve out a unique niche in order to recruit the best students, attract and retain top faculty and staff, and encourage alumni and donor support. The authors argue that designing a path to sustainability can provide any campus with an overarching framework to clarify and focus institutional identity. The strategies put forth provide a foundation to reinvigorate and unite faculty, staff, and students through collaboration on a shared goal.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011, Society for College and University Planning. This article first appeared in Planning for Higher Education: 39:4 (2011), 69-70.

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.