Letters to the Editor

Sustainability Rankings Serve 'Sierra' Readers and Colleges

May 02, 2010

To the Editor:

We at Sierra appreciate Scott Carlson's coverage of our "Coolest Schools" rankings ("Ithaca College Opts Out of 'Cool Schools' Rankings," The Chronicle, March 23), as well as the input from Ithaca College's sustainability coordinators.

We continue to find that our thorough (though, yes, time-consuming) and independent ranking methodology serves Sierra's readers and the collegiate world well. Consider these comments we've received over the past few weeks:

David Prytherch, the sustainability coordinator of Miami University in Ohio, wrote: "It's not just about reporting, but confronting tough questions. Completing the form reminds us of what we've accomplished and how much is yet to be done. We appreciate Sierra magazine's effort to compile this information and motivating us. It really helps encourage continued innovation on campus, knowing that others are watching."

Marcia Kinstler, Georgia Tech's sustainability director, told us: "As usual, your questions have proven thought-provoking and a good reason to research more about our campus sustainability efforts. I plan to once again incorporate some of this newly discovered and more clearly articulated content into the various campus content on our sustainability efforts."

Justin Mog, the University of Louisville's provost's assistant for sustainability initiatives, said: "In all sincerity, I'd like to thank you for keeping up the competitive pressure on universities to push the sustainability envelope! This is definitely healthy competition!"

After collecting and scoring every survey submitted this year, we will publish our scoring methodology, which was constructed to reflect our readers' core concerns, along with all the schools' completed questionnaires. With this effort, we aim to make the process behind our annual "Coolest Schools" rankings as transparent and relevant as possible.

Avital Binshtock
Lifestyle Editor,
San Francisco