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2 Sep 2022

Full-Time Chief Sustainability Officer

Ball State University – Posted by - Muncie, Indiana, United States

Ball State University logo

Job Description

Ball State University
Chief Sustainability Officer

Position Specifications
Position: Chief Sustainability Officer
Organization: Ball State University
Location: Muncie, Indiana
Reporting Relationship: Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer
Website: BSU Home

The Opportunity
Ball State University seeks an experienced, innovative, and impassioned Chief Sustainability Officer for this critical inaugural role. The Chief Sustainability Officer will be able to leverage and build from a tremendous platform and institutional efforts and accomplishments to date.

The Chief Sustainability Officer will provide institutional leadership and support to create a university-wide culture of collaborative sustainability. The Chief Sustainability Officer is responsible for implementing the new university-wide centralized sustainability organizational structure with a focus on educating, nurturing, and promoting sustained collaboration across all academic and operational units.

The Chief Sustainability Officer will provide expertise and guidance in leading an interdisciplinary group of campus constituents in developing and implementing a strategic sustainability plan guided by the Ball State University’s Destination 2040: Our Flight Path strategic plan, mission, and enduring values, collaborating with students, faculty, and staff in expanding the integration of sustainability principles into curriculum and scholarship, working closely with administrative leadership to appropriately integrate sustainable practices into the university operations, and promoting the principles of environmental, social, and economic sustainability throughout campus.

Ball State University
Ball State University’s nearly 3,600 faculty and staff deliver excellent instruction, pursue world-class research and creative endeavors, and provide exemplary service to approximately 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students across seven academic colleges with about 190 undergraduate programs. Ball State offers more than 140 certificates and master’s, doctoral, and specialist degrees, many of them ranking among the best in the nation. Originally founded to meet the need for more and better teachers, Ball State has earned a Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation and serves as one of Indiana’s public research institutions while remaining committed to empowering its graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives.

For 103 years, Ball State has had an unwavering belief in an education rooted in creativity, values, and intellectual curiosity. The institution was founded on the beneficence and tenacity of the Ball brothers, who gave back to the community that gave them so much. What began as a teacher’s college has grown into a world-class University with highly respected programs in education, architecture, business, communications, fine arts, sciences, humanities, and the health professions.

“We spark intellectual curiosity. Spirited and motivated, we learn, grow, and take flight. Our faculty and staff—everyone in our community—treat students as partners, from day one. In classrooms and labs, on the sports fields, in immersive learning projects—with agility and perseverance—Cardinals fly. We are grounded in our values, lifted by our knowledge, and go confidently upward toward ever greater opportunities. Ours is a simple promise: to challenge each other to excel.  And with Beneficence as our guide—We Fly.”

With more than 4,300 immersive learning student experiences each year, Ball State is committed to providing immersive opportunities that benefit students, faculty, and the community. Teamwork and collaboration are essential components of a successful immersive learning project. Each academic year, the Immersive Learning Student Advisory Board (ILSAB) recognizes a student team that went above and beyond the requirements of their immersive learning class to produce uncommon results for their partner and our local community.

Sustainability at Ball State University
Ball State’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in our mission statement. We engage students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while we enhance the economic, environmental, and social vitality of our community, our state, and our world.

Our university community has adopted a Statement on Sustainability. We are a signatory to the Climate Leadership Commitment, the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Talloires Declaration, and we are a charter school member of the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS).  We have integrated sustainability into our Unit-level Strategic Plans and are installing a 47-building Geothermal District Heating and Cooling System to reduce our Greenhouse gas emissions.

We have hosted nine international Greening of the Campus (GOC) Conferences, and our Council on the Environment (COTE) is the longest-standing such committee among colleges and universities in Indiana.  We offer a broad range of academic programs that engage sustainability, and we sponsor student groups such as the Ball State Energy Action Team (BEAT), Emerging Green Builders (EGB), the Natural Resources Club (NRC), and Students for Responsible Consumerism (SRC).

Finally, we encourage you to survey and/or use our STARS reporting tool: Mapping Sustainability at Ball State.

Ball State University seeks to be a campus where:

  • all students, faculty and employees are provided opportunities to become literate in the environmental, social, and economic interactions of human and biophysical systems
  • opportunities are made available through strong undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional-specialization, faculty development, and staff training offerings that provide diverse opportunities for learning
  • collaborative faculty and student research on related issues is encouraged and supported
  • development of university leadership and expertise is seen as a continuous, participatory process of learning that contributes to local and regional sustainability efforts, fostering links with other institutions
  • understanding and concern for sustainability issues provide the foundation for a dynamic sense of campus cohesion and community; and
  • the University’s practices reduce both the consumption of materials and energy and the emission of pollutants to their lowest levels possible, without decreases in the level of education, scholarly work, and services provided.

We, the Ball State University community, affirm our commitment to protect and enhance the environment through our learning, scholarship, service, and administrative operations. We seek to foster a community that sustains ecological systems and educates for environmental awareness, local action, and global thinking. We seek to incorporate environmental principles and environmentally responsible practices as fundamental and integrated components of all BSU operations and programs. Our fundamental principles are to:

  • incorporate environmental concerns as a significant priority in university decision making
  • seek alternative practices and procedures to minimize negative impacts on the environment
  • conserve natural resources and restore environmental quality
  • protect the biodiversity of our region and serve as a living laboratory and habitat for local species; and
  • consider the social, economic, and environmental effects of Ball State University’s operational policies and foster a participatory process in developing these policies.

Our decisions and actions will be guided by the University’s Mission Statement, reflective of the University’s resources, and informed by the University’s Strategic Plan. As a learning institution, we recognize that planning for sustainability will be an evolving practice.

Muncie, Indiana
Located 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis, Muncie has been rated the number one most affordable college town, according to and has been recognized twice as Indiana’s Community of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and All-America City award winner in 2020.

With a population of 68,000, Muncie has a rich arts culture of museums, theaters, planetarium, recreational trails, Prairie Creek Reservoir, Indiana’s longest rail trail, and 30 public parks as well as best in class fitness and athletics facilities at the University.

Visit Muncie

Cardinal Greenways

Christy Woods – Outdoor Teaching Laboratory for BSU Students & Community

David Owsley Museum of Art

Position Summary
Central to the success of the university sustainability endeavors will be a leader who can drive and communicate the university vision, as well as build partnerships and collaborations on and beyond campus.

The Chief Sustainability Officer will act as the institution’s chief sustainability strategist and will provide leadership for a centralized sustainability structure with a focus on teaching, nurturing, and promoting sustained collaboration. This leader will also serve as a primary resource and driver in building a streamlined sustainability culture.

Key duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Work strategically and collaboratively with the existing sustainability committees including the Council on the Environment (COTE), the longest standing such committee among colleges and universities in Indiana and engaging other members of existing committees, experts, students, faculty, staff, service, and administration stakeholder representatives.
  • Engage with University governance in matters related to sustainability
  • Engage the campus community in contributing to the creation of a Sustainability Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan
  • Collaborate on creating, guiding, mapping, and promoting sustainability engagement through organized educational opportunities, student programming, and employee resources
  • Create, plan, and participate in regular sustainability meetings, workshops, charrettes, and annual reporting outcome sessions
  • Collaborate with academic and administrative personnel in the planning and implementation of campus sustainability and resiliency events, programs, policies, and procedures
  • In collaboration with the Faculty Fellow for Academic Sustainability, promote the integration of environmental, social, and economic sustainability practices into curriculum, scholarship, and operations by providing knowledge, expertise, and coordinated processes to engage faculty, students, administrative operations leadership, and other relevant campus constituents in exploring and implementing campus-wide initiatives and programs
  • Manage University external sustainability memberships and commitments, and coordinating, guiding, and preparing greenhouse gas emissions inventory, carbon footprint, and sustainability reporting
  • Manage the Chief Sustainability Officer/Office of Sustainability budget and related designated campus sustainability funds, including forecasting, tracking, verification, and annual reporting


  • Beginning with a centralized Ball State University Sustainability Website, create and implement a university-wide centralized sustainability communication plan, designed to create awareness and transparency in sustainability structures, strategic planning goals, imperatives and priorities for action, annual reporting outcomes, continuous progress updates/developments, and a culture of shared responsibility
  • Promote sustainability awareness, onboarding, and engagement through new student and employee orientations and onboarding materials; represent Ball State University at appropriate sustainability meetings/conferences; facilitate sustainability dialogue and networking with peer and aspirational institutions
  • Provide technical expertise, knowledge, and guidance in support of sustainable practices in the planning, design, construction, and operations phases for both new and renovation of campus buildings, systems, and infrastructure projects; work with capital project teams and building operation teams to integrate sustainable practices in projects, master planning, maintenance, and renewal

The Chief Sustainability Officer must be a dynamic, communicative, and agile leader with demonstrated success working with all levels of an organization and with the ambiguity and complexity of building out major sustainability initiatives.

Other desired qualifications and leadership characteristics include:

  • A minimum of five years of demonstrated hands-on experience managing and implementing institutional sustainability in the public or private sector
  • Two to three years of experience in facilitating collaborative, stakeholder-based planning-processes including developing, implementing, tracking, and measuring sustainability programs, projects, and initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain trusted, collaborative, and effective individuals’ relationships and teams
  • Excellent communication skills including oral, written, and public speaking
  • Ability to work independently and productively while balancing multiple priority projects, deadlines, and interests
  • Effective problem-solving, decision making, interpersonal skills


  • Knowledge of sustainability theories and best practices, as well as local, regional, national, and global sustainability standards and developments
  • Experience and familiarity with relevant sustainability organizations and networks (e.g., governmental, non-governmental, and academic) involved in advancing sustainability policy and action
  • Experience working on climate action, sustainability, and energy initiatives in a large, complex, and public oriented organization
  • Experience working with external consultants and organizations
  • Demonstrated commitment to data-driven decision-making and the use of key performance indicators in the execution of tactical, operational, and strategic responsibilities


  • Bachelor’s degree in applicable field from an accredited institution of higher education
  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution (preferred)

Compensation and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Process
Candidate nominations and interested, qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to:

[email protected]

Ball State University respects and embraces equity, inclusion, and diversity in people, ideas, and opinions. At Ball State University, diversity is an integral part of our identity. More than accepting difference, we honor and celebrate the diversity of experiences, perspectives, background, and unique identities of the people in our workforce. BSU offers a non-discriminatory environment that is open, fair, and inclusive for all individuals across distinctions of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, physical ability, or medical condition. The success of the university depends on the presence, representation, and inclusion each person brings to our community. Click here to learn more and to review the inclusive excellence plan.


How to Apply

Candidate nominations and interested, qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to: [email protected]

Job Categories: Sustainability. Job Types: Full-Time.

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