Will Anaheim University Become The World's First Paperless University?

Mountains of paper, shelves of books and rows of filing cabinets are being replaced by PDFs, electronic book readers and hard drives. Anaheim University, the nationally accredited California-based institution, who pioneered online education in the mid-nineties as one of the world's first entirely online universities to host live web-based classes taught by experts, has now committed to being paperless by 2010. This directive has caused Anaheim to push publishers to produce e-books, as well as adopt technical innovations such as the Sony book reader that allow the entire university's curriculum of textbooks to be stored in a portable palm-sized electronic reader.

Anaheim University President Dr. William Hartley, who became the 615th university head to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment in February 2009, stated, "We don't want to be hypocritical by teaching our students to be sustainable while chopping down trees and wasting energy to do so. Times have changed and universities need to practice what they teach." The ACUPCC is a highly visible effort organizing U.S. college and university presidents and chancellors to address global warming by minimizing global warming emissions and providing education in an effort to achieve climate neutrality.

But can a university actually be completely paperless? According to Chief Communications Officer David Bracey, "Anaheim's students have submitted assignments electronically and accessed online library resources since 1998. This year we switched from paper to e-catalogs, and digital publishing has replaced the submission of multiple copies of bound theses. We are endeavoring to convert all administrative procedures into digital format by 2010. Being online since our inception gives us a head-start on the traditional bricks and mortar institution. We hope to inspire not only traditional universities, but also our students who can have the same kind of environmental impact on the organizations that employ them."

Anaheim University's Kisho Kurokawa Green Institute is named in honor of the renowned Japanese eco-minded architect who designed such sustainable projects as the award-winning Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Through the Green Institute, Anaheim University offers various Sustainable Management programs including an Online Green MBA, a Certificate in Sustainable Management and a Diploma in Sustainable Management.

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