The ecological and social transition towards a more sustainable university cannot occur without adequate governance, a structure that can respond effectively and in a coordinated manner to the complex issues underlying this challenge. Intrinsically transversal, sustainable development requires the mobilisation of various administrations and bodies but also of the many different actors who make up the University community. A crucial issue intersecting with all three of UCLouvain’s missions, this benefits from a plural approach to governance.
The council defines strategy and ensures that the global vision and sustainable dynamics of UCLouvain expresses the Transition and Society Pro-Rectorate’s position. In 2009, a member of the pro-rectoral team was given responsibility for sustainable development. Professors Benoit Macq (2009–2014) and Marc Francaux (2014–2019) in turn monitored progress in this increasingly important matter.
In 2019, as part of Vincent Blondel’s second term as rector, UCLouvain recognised and responded to the scope of this perennial issue by appointing Professor Marthe Nyssens (ESPO, LIDAM) to be the first Prorector for Transition and Society. Her mission: to develop policy related to the ecological and social transition towards a more sustainable university while ensuring the commitment and participation of the entire University community.
The Sustainable Development Council (CoDD) reports to the Academic Council. As a forum for debate, the council endeavours to produce opinions and recommendations on and analyses of the matters within its mandate.
As the president, the member of the Rectoral Council responsible for sustainable development:
- Marthe Nyssens - academic staff, ESPO/LIDAM
Five experts, nominated by the president and chosen by the Academic Council for their specific skills:
- Pierre Defourny - academic staff, AGRO
- Valérie Swaen - academic staff, LSM
- Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele - academic staff, SC
- Charles-Hubert Born - academic staff, DRT
- Patricia Luis Alconero - academic staff, EPL
A representative chosen and appointed internally by each staff group (CORA, CORSCI, CORTA):
- Véronique Bragard - academic staff, FIAL
- Valentin Couvreur - scientific staff, ELI
- Giovanna Gisellu - technical and administrative staff, ASS
Two student representatives, appointed by the AGL:
- Nikki Buggenhout - student AGRO
- Arnaud Van der Cam - student AGRO
- Gislaine Declève, union delegate – technical and administrative staff, CE/CPPT
- Didier Smits, head of the Property Studies Service – technical and administrative staff, ADPI
- Didier Hamann, communications director – technical and administrative staff, AREC
- Alain Dangoisse, for the Maison du Développment Durable (MDD) – technical and administrative staff, MDD
- Marc Servais, responsible for sustainable development – technical and administrative staff, SASP
Operational implementation supervisors
The practical application of the Sustainability Transition Plan involves multiple University bodies and administrations. There are many project leaders. Such transversality and plural leadership require significant and regular interactions among the administrators, academics, scientists, and other community actors affected by implementation of the Sustainability Transition Plan, often leading to the creation of arenas for coordination to ensure fluid and efficient interactions.