BOONE, N.C.—Following a national search, Dr. Lee F. Ball Jr. has been named director of sustainability at Appalachian State University. Ball has held the position on an interim basis since June 2015.
“Lee’s leadership in sustainability is well-regarded throughout the nation,” said Chancellor Sheri N. Everts. “Additionally, he has earned tremendous respect from his colleagues at Appalachian for his ability to foster collaboration and facilitate action to advance significant, university-wide initiatives. In addition to his dedication to and passion for the university’s 3E’s approach to sustainability, Lee’s solid academic background, collegial style and appreciation for the expertise of his colleagues has allowed him to build teams of faculty and staff from across all disciplines and units of campus, and make great strides in Appalachian’s long history of leadership in sustainability.”
The director of sustainability provides dedicated leadership to advancing the university’s strategic sustainability goals. The position reports to the Office of the Chancellor, manages the Office of Sustainability and works collaboratively with senior university leadership, the university Sustainability Council and faculty, staff and students to advance a wide variety of the institution’s sustainability initiatives. The director is responsible for making and/or informing decisions regarding facility planning, energy, environmental, space management, cultural and educational programs that impact the university’s sustainable practices.
Since Ball’s interim appointment, Appalachian achieved the highest overall ranking, No. 1, among master’s institutions on the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2016 Sustainable Campus Index, which measures sustainability performance of colleges and universities worldwide. Appalachian also ranked No. 2 in the area of curriculum and No. 5 in the buildings or facilities category. He is also credited with implementing a number of measures directed at expanding the campus presence of the Office of Sustainability, including creating sustainability liaisons for every college across the university.
Ball is a founding member of Appalachian’s Sustainability Council, which he currently co-chairs. He also chairs the university’s Sustainable Investments Committee, as well as a University Planning and Priorities Council (UPPC) sub-committee addressing Appalachian’s strategic initiative for building a response infrastructure for a sustainable campus. He is a founding member of the university’s Living Green residential learning community and he developed its linked first-year seminar course, Contemporary Green Living. Within the community, he serves as president of the Elkland Art Center, a local non-profit organization that emphasizes community-based experiential art and sustainability education.
Ball holds a doctorate in sustainability education, a master’s degree in environmental education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in natural science. He has spent the past 14 years teaching sustainability-related content in Appalachian’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, with his primary research focused on sustainability literacy, the valuation of green buildings, biophilic/ecophilic design, and change agency related to community engagement.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.