Bard College receives $575,000 grant

The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MAC Foundation) has awarded Bard College a $575,000 grant to support sustainability education initiatives. The grant supports the launch of the new Bard MBA in Sustainability graduate program in New York City, set to enroll its first class in fall 2012, as well as teaching and research initiatives at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (Bard CEP), including a new environmental leadership program.

“We are very grateful to the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation for supporting Bard’s work to provide the education and training for graduate students to meet the challenges of crafting policies and institutions that can deliver prosperity, while protecting and restoring the planet,” said MBA and Bard CEP Director Eban S. Goodstein, stressing that leadership is the common thread to all the projects made possible by support from the foundation. “We have moved beyond environmental management. Our students have to transform business, government, education, and the nonprofit sector to a new focus on sustainability.”

The award from the MAC Foundation will be used to help launch the Bard MBA in Sustainability, a rigorous two-year graduate program focused on educating and training future leaders in sustainable business practices. The new program looks to respond to surging demand for training in sustainable business practices being created by countless green start-up businesses and major corporate efforts, such IBM’s Smarter Planet and General Electric’s Eco-Imagination. The grant will also fund research and teaching initiatives at Bard CEP, including funding for student scholarships, internships, faculty and student research, and public education programs. A unique feature of Bard CEP, which offers M.S. degrees in environmental policy and in climate science and policy, is a requirement that each student complete a four- to six-month internship in their second year before returning to campus to write a thesis. Students work in government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, for companies such as IBM and Autodesk, at top think tanks like Resources for the Future, and at the state and community level around the country and abroad. The three-year grant supports internships for students seeking international experience, or working in low-income communities in the United States. The gift will also support a new series of two-week January term classes for students, including funding for one class to travel to Oaxaca to study water management; as well as a public outreach class on how to run a land trust. Last, the funding will help launch a new leadership program for C2C Fellows—a national network for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring to sustainability leadership in politics and business.

The Bard MBA in Sustainability provides a rigorous education in core business principles, as well as sustainable business approaches, with a focus throughout on the integrated bottom line of economics, environment, and social equity. Green companies must achieve quality production and performance, efficient operations, sound financial management, deep employee engagement, responsible and effective marketing, creative responses to changing economic conditions, flexible strategies, and continuous innovation. In courses on leadership, operations, marketing, finance, economics, and strategy, students will be constantly challenged to integrate three goals: profit, continuous reduction in ecological impact, and stakeholder engagement.

The Bard MBA is structured around five weekend intensives every term (four in New York City and one in the Hudson Valley), with additional instruction between intensives. The program’s innovative residency structure—with classes held over long weekends once a month—will enable students and professionals from across the East Coast to attend, and will allow regional and national leaders in business sustainability to engage students in the classroom. The New York City campus will become a laboratory for first-year students, who will participate in yearlong consultancies with New York–area businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Bard MBA faculty and guest lecturers will include leading scholars in business, economics, and environmental policy from Bard’s full-time faculty as well as cutting-edge practitioners in business sustainability, corporate and nonprofit leaders, journalists, and consultants. The Bard MBA was developed in partnership between Bard’s Center for Environmental Policy (Bard CEP), which grants M.S. degrees in environmental policy and in climate science and policy, and the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, a leading nonpartisan economic policy research organization. For more information about Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability, please visit, e-mail, or call 845-758-7388.

The Bard Center for Environmental Policy provides master’s level leadership education for a generation that will change the future. Bard CEP believes that to solve environmental challenges and achieve sustainability in our institutions and in society, government and business policies must be grounded in the best available science. At the same time, effective policy leaders must bring to bear the insights of ethics, economics, politics, and the law, and must have both the skills and the courage to promote policy change within business and government. Bard CEP’s cohort-based program and intensive, campus-based, first-year curriculum requires students to synthesize information from a range of disciplines and sources. The emphasis on science-based policy enables students to progress from knowledge of the issues to the formulation of feasible, effective policy responses. Distinctive program features include a modular approach to course work; close student-faculty interaction; professional internships; practical training in geographic information systems (GIS), statistics, leadership, and communication strategies; and research opportunities created to fit student interests. Directed by Eban S. Goodstein, Bard CEP offers graduate degree programs for the aspiring leader. Earning either an M.S. in environmental policy or an M.S. in climate science and policy, Bard CEP graduates enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue high-level careers in research and policy. The value of Bard CEP’s approach has been recognized through established partnerships with Pace Law School, the Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Program, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and the Peace Corps. For more information about the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, please call 845-758-7073, e-mail, or visit

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