Gustave Speth ’64 LAW ’69 was appointed to serve a second five-year term as dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Speth has served as dean of the environment school since July of 1999. His second term will begin on July 1, 2004.
During his tenure thus far, Speth has worked to improve many facets of the environment school, particularly the school’s resources and presence as a global school of the environment. Yale President Richard Levin said in an e-mail to the faculty and staff of the environment school that dramatic progress has been made during Speth’s term as dean.
“Gus Speth is the kind of environmental leader that the school hopes to prepare for the challenges of the future,” Levin said. “He is a respected ambassador for the school within the Yale community, across the nation and around the globe. His efforts have advanced us toward the realization of our shared aspiration to make Yale the world’s premier center for environmental science and policy.”
Speth said he was pleased with the improvements he has made and looks forward to the future.
“I really am excited about being reappointed,” Speth said. “We’ve been able to do some great things together at the school. I feel very good about the number of initiatives that we’ve been able to take on.”
Since Speth’s arrival, the overall size of the environment school’s budget has increased by 75 percent, the amount of money available for student scholarships has doubled,and the amount of grant funding has nearly tripled. The number of faculty and courses offered at the school have both increased by one-third, and the graduate school was instrumental in the creation of an undergraduate environmental department.
“We’ve done a lot to realize our goal of not only being the best environmental school in the world but also being a truly global school of the environment,” Speth said.
Speth said he intends to continue working to improve the environment school, focusing on four specific goals. First, he wants to increase the amount of scholarship money available to master’s degree students.
The dean said he would also like to make structural improvements.
“We have approval to build Yale’s first green building, [which] will reflect the latest in environmental design and performance,” Speth said. “This building will not just be our headquarters. The plan calls for the building to include an environmental center for the whole university.”
Speth said he would also like to continue the environment school’s progress towards being a global school by bringing in more faculty and students from around the world. He also said he wants to work with others outside of the environment school.
“We want to continue to strengthen our ties with Yale College,” Speth said. “We want to continue to build the environmental studies department with others at Yale — there are many other departments that are interested in this program and teach in it.”
The faculty of the environment school expressed approval of Speth’s reappointment. John Wargo, a professor in the environment school, said in an e-mail that the school was very fortunate to have Speth as dean. Others concurred.
“[Speth's reappointment] is a great thing for the school, for Yale and for the environment,” said Dan Esty LAW ’86, a professor of environmental law and policy in the environment school. “Gus Speth has done a wonderful job lifting the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies into a higher orbit and his ambitions to move it even further out into the world are impressive and exciting.”