NIPP Chapter 2: Basic Premises
This document outlines Chapter 2 of the Nelson Institute Policies and Procedures (NIPP) as approved by the Governance Committee on April 19, 2021.
2.01. Environmental issues and problems are among the most urgent and serious concerns that society confronts. The university signaled the importance of and its commitment to the environment through the creation of the Nelson Institute in 1970. The Institute advances the understanding of the environment and its problems by generating new knowledge (research), educating undergraduate and graduate students (teaching), and disseminating and applying knowledge for prevention or solution of those problems (service and outreach).
2.02. Environmental issues and problems are complex, and their understanding and solutions require interdisciplinary approaches. The nature of its interdisciplinary mission argues that the Nelson Institute must be an intercollege program, rather than part of a traditional school or college. It also means it should act as a bridging organization, linking the community to the university.
2.03. Since environmental studies programs are interdisciplinary and gain their academic strength from the disciplines, it is necessary to maintain a structure that facilitates interdisciplinary interaction. The Nelson Institute should lead in the development of effective processes and methodologies for integrating knowledge from different disciplines. A vital element of the Nelson Institute is the active recruitment of affiliate faculty. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies, the process of affiliation should be inclusive. There is no upper limit of individuals to be involved.