(Feb. 7, 2019) — As UTSA strengthens its efforts to build a healthier, more sustainable campus community, President Taylor Eighmy today announced the selection of Lani May ’03, ’06 as the university’s new Director of Sustainability. For the last nine years, May has served as a senior environmental planner in the UTSA Office of Facilities.
As Director of the UTSA Office of Sustainability, which is housed in the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, May will lead the planning, implementation and advancement of university-wide sustainability initiatives. She will also provide expertise in the review and ongoing management of green construction projects and chair the UTSA Sustainability Council, a UTSA standing committee that advises the President and university leadership on strategies to enhance UTSA’s sustainability performance.
“Taking a leadership role in addressing our region’s sustainability challenges is an important priority for UTSA,” said Eighmy. “Our university has a unique responsibility to make decisions that foster the environmental welfare of our campuses and our city, integrating the best sustainability practices into the life of the campus. Lani’s expertise, background and passion make her the perfect person to lead these efforts.”
May has more than 13 years of experience in environmental compliance, geographic information system mapping, standards implementation, grant application and award management, green initiatives, and sustainable project coordination. For the past seven months, she has served as UTSA’s interim sustainability director in a part-time capacity.
Prior to joining UTSA, May spent more than six years as the natural resources coordinator at Brooks City-Base. She earned a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in environmental science from UTSA and is currently working on her Ph.D. at UTSA in civil and environmental engineering.
May will continue to support UTSA Facilities on a part-time basis for the next three months, as she transitions to her new position, effective immediately.
“Responding to the national search process we just completed, Ms. May was among a distinguished group of applicants,” said John Murphy, dean of the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning. “Based upon her history of success, her professional skill set and her complete commitment to the field of sustainability, we believe we have selected the top person to lead us to a more sustainable future here at UTSA.”
Over the last decade, UTSA has implemented numerous conservation efforts, saving money and reducing energy and water consumption. Those initiatives have allowed the university to keep total energy consumption stable over the past 10 years, saving more than $3.1 million despite an increasing student population and growing campus infrastructure. Strategic water conservation efforts, for example, include synthetic turf on football practice and intramural fields, low flow restrooms, showers and sinks, and using reclaimed water for the Sombrilla Fountain and to cool some research facilities and have saved UTSA more than 30 million gallons each year.
The Office of Facilities and Office of Sustainability are working together on several conceptual plans to add bicycle and pedestrian lanes to campus and create pedestrian/bicycle corridors. Student leaders are also proposing to add charging stations for the growing number of scooters on campus.
As a discovery enterprise and an urban serving institution, UTSA applies the expertise of its researchers to find innovative solutions for regional challenges, serving as a model for sustainability education and leading through its actions in the protection and preservation of the environment.
Source: Courtney Clevenger, UTSA Today