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Transforming the University to Confront the Climate Crisis

John Foran (University of California, USA)

Transformative Research and Higher Education

ISBN: 978-1-80117-695-8, eISBN: 978-1-80117-694-1

Publication date: 8 March 2022


Drawing on my own experiences at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a college professor of radical social change for 31 years who has been focused on the climate crisis for the past 10, I explore the crisis of higher education with respect to this most pressing existential challenge of the twenty-first century and propose various approaches, actions, activities, and projects for both classroom teachers and networks of educators.

These include the UC-CSU NXTerra Knowledge Action Network, the UCSB-developed nearly carbon neutral conference, and engaging students in designing and implementing systemic alternatives outside the classroom in their own communities such as Eco Vista in the 23,000-person community of Isla Vista just adjacent to UC Santa Barbara, among others.

The essay will end with a vision of a new type of university, exemplified in the world-spanning Ecoversities Alliance, and dreamed of in Transition U and Eco Vista U, two prototypes that I have been involved in co-creating with students, staff, faculty and community members in Santa Barbara, California, and in the Transition US movement.



Foran, J. (2022), "Transforming the University to Confront the Climate Crisis", Roij, A.B. (Ed.) Transformative Research and Higher Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-144.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 John Foran. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited