The University of Waikato has appointed Professor Lynda Johnston in the new role of Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sustainability.
The role has been developed to shape the University’s strategic academic approach to sustainability and environmental management, and provide academic leadership and oversight of its activities as measured against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Professor Johnston already teaches the many ways in which people, families, communities and institutions can be sustainable using the SDG framework, in her role as Professor of Geography.
“In order to decarbonise the University and transition to a thriving, climate-resilient and low emissions university, we need clear targets that translate to the everyday,” she says.
Professor Johnston is also the Aotearoa New Zealand delegate to the International Geographical Union and has previously chaired its Gender and Geography Commission, as well as being past President of the New Zealand Geographical Society. For more than two decades, she has pursued research and conducted activism on the challenges and spatial complexities of inequalities.
She says she’s excited to build on the sustainability initiatives the University already has in place.
“There’s a wealth of research and teaching experience on sustainability that needs showcasing and celebrating. One of my goals is to develop stronger collaborations across the University and externally, to harness and prompt new ways of living sustainably.”
With Professor Johnston in the new role, the University is well positioned to lead positive environmental and social impacts through partnerships, research, technology, teaching, operations and community engagement.