University President Fr. John Jenkins led the spring 2014 town hall meeting Monday in Washington Hall, which focused on campus expansion projects as well as ways to improve Notre Dame for future students.Jenkins discussed the importance of constantly adapting and revising Notre Dame, making it better for the future.“Notre Dame’s commitment to education, scholarly engagement, internationality and faith sets it apart as an outstanding research university.” Jenkins said. “Everybody should be asking questions. Everyone should be engaged in discovering new truths — that is what sets Notre Dame apart from other top schools.”Jenkins described the “Strategic Plan”, which involves many important additions to the campus.“The current residence halls are filled to 106 percent, which is a major problem,” Jenkins said.In response, the University will build two new residence halls behind Grace Hall. Other projects include a new architecture building, Nanovic Hall, Jenkins Hall, a new research complex and the expansion of the Hesburgh Library.Katie McCarty | The Observer Jenkins also addressed the Campus Crossroads Project, which aims to maximize use of space around Notre Dame stadium.“One of the goals is to keep the campus compact — Notre Dame is a walking campus, and it should always be a walking campus,” Jenkins said. “This project will work because it will recapture space that isn’t being used but is still in the walking zone.”According to Jenkins, new buildings will be built around the stadium including new professor offices, a music building and a new student center.Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves also discussed the “ImproveND Project”, which is essentially a survey to identify the school’s weaknesses and strengths.The survey showed that Notre Dame is strongest in campus safety, library services and fitness and recreation services, he said. Lower scores were in timeliness and openness to suggestions, campus eateries and catering and performance management.The president and faculty are constantly working to identify areas of improvement, set achievable goals and monitor progress in order to create accountability and show commitment to justice and fairness in light of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, Jenkins said. These changes are working to modernize and evolve Notre Dame to keep in competitive among top international universities.The question is whether Fr. Sorin would look at Notre Dame today and see the fulfillment of his dream for the University, Jenkins said.“If we’ve done our job, Sorin would look around and say ‘this is what I dreamed of,” Jenkins said.Tags: Campus Crossroads, Fr. John Jenkins, town hall meeting
Danish pensions administrator PKA is investing DKK415m (€55.8m) in green bonds and expects to put more money into the instruments as it works to integrate climate considerations into all of its asset classes.PKA, which manages around DKK200bn on behalf of three labour-market pension funds, said it bought the green bonds from Germany’s development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and from the European Investment Bank (EIB).Of the total investment, DKK265m has gone into the KfW bonds, which are guaranteed by the German state, have a maturity of five years and are expected to yield 1.65% a year.The remaining DKK150m has been invested in green bonds issued by the EIB, which are guaranteed by the EU, run for 10 years and have an expected annual return of 2.15%. The money raised through the bond issues by both institutions is used to finance projects within the areas of sustainable energy and increased energy efficiency.Peter Damgaard Jensen, managing director at PKA, said: “We expect to invest in more green bonds as an instrument to meet the global need for investments in sustainable energy and increased energy efficiency.”PKA wanted to integrate climate considerations into all of its asset classes, he said, adding that green bonds were an investment area the provider had long been interested in.“The projects that are included are areas that PKA already invests in significantly, so green bonds are an extension of our strategy of raising our investment in sustainable energy,” he said.The pensions administrator said it now had DKK13bn invested in CO2-reducing projects.PKA noted that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently called on pension funds to invest in climate-friendly sustainable energy.