POTSDAM – Clarkson University Professor Bill Vitek of Potsdam has been named the 2010-2011 W. Ford Schumann '50 Professor in Democratic Studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
While at Williams, Vitek will work on Post Carbon Sense, his book of essays focused on the substantial cultural and social changes that will be necessary in our lifetimes to live without easy access to cheap, carbon-based energy in the form of soils, forests, oil, natural gas and coal.
He will also develop and teach two new courses on sustainability and the philosophy of nature, and engage Williams' students and the wider community through a series of public lectures and small seminars.
Vitek is currently professor of philosophy and chair of Clarkson's Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, where he has taught for 23 years.
He is the author of one book, Promising; and the co-editor of three books: Applying Philosophy (with Terrell Ward Bynum); Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place (with Wes Jackson); and The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability and the Limits of Knowledge (with Wes Jackson).
He is the author of popular essays and articles on environmental ethics, community, and public life. He was a 2007 Visiting Scholar with the Center for Humans and Nature and with The Land Institute.
Vitek co-founded and directed Clarkson's Environmental Science & Policy Program for eight years, and was associate director of Clarkson's Center for the Environment for four years.
He directed Clarkson's 2001-02 Sustainability Initiative.
Vitek has won numerous teaching and advising awards at Clarkson, including the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Phalanx Award for "outstanding leadership qualities and quality participation in organizations with Clarkson and the Potsdam community."
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college's 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research.