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Colleagues Celebrate Geiser

One of Only Two to Hold University Professor Distinction

Prof. Ken Geiser, center, who was recognized as University Professor is joined by Prof. David Wegman, left, and Prof. John Wooding.


Karen Angelo

“Ken is everything a faculty member should be,” says Chancellor Marty Meehan who spoke at a celebration that marked the beginning of Prof. Geiser’s three-year University Professorship.  “His life’s work has been about making a difference in this world, from environmental leadership to teaching and mentoring.”

Known worldwide as a visionary environmental policy expert, Prof. Ken Geiser was recently awarded the honor of "University Professor," the most esteemed title bestowed on a faculty member.

Comments from colleagues confirmed that Geiser meets all criteria-associated with the honor:  an individual who has consistently demonstrated exemplary teaching, nationally significant research and extraordinary service to the University community.

“Ken believes that problems in this world cannot be solved in silos,” says Prof. John Wooding of the Regional, Economic and Social Development Department. “He takes an intellectual framework and applies it to solve complex issues in the real world. He’s also an excellent teacher who not only asks compelling questions but listens carefully to his students’ responses.”

A faculty adviser to doctoral students, Geiser also co-directs the University’s Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. During his many years at the University, he has also served as Special Assistant to the Provost for Research and chaired or co-chaired numerous university committees.

Geiser was an author of the nationally and internationally recognized Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989 and served as the director of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute from its founding in 1990 until 2003. He has served on various advisory committees for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.N. Environment Program. Last year he was appointed co-chair of the Science Advisory Panel for the California Green Chemistry Initiative.

Geiser will deliver a University-wide lecture during each year of the three-year appointment.  He is only one of two faculty members to currently hold this distinction.  Prof. Susan Braunhut of the Biological Sciences Department received the same honor in 2008.

2009 University Professor Ken Geiser with Prof. Susan Braunhut, who received the University Professorship in 2008.