Greta is Coming.

An Open Letter to Higher Education Leaders in the United States

I’m a college president, and I’m looking at a wave of Greta Thunbergs.  They are building a student rebellion both inside and outside our institutions. And they are right to do so.

Extractive economic growth is accelerating the collapse of the life support systems of the planet, and our students know it. The fossil fuel divestment activism of the last decade is only the barest preview of what is coming.

Extinction Rebellion, Youth Strike 4 Climate, and the powerful voices of European student leaders like Greta Thunberg are telling us something. And we better listen and be prepared to act as this movement takes hold in the United States. Students no longer believe that educational business-as-usual is viable. They are disconnected from the institutions and the norms that our generation built, and are experiencing the anxiety of an uncertain future. Will we join their rebellion and find pertinence in the process? Failure to do so will be a failure of moral courage, and condemn our institutions to irrelevance.

Read the rest of Sterling College President Matthew Derr’s commentary “Greta is Coming: An Open Letter to Higher Education Leaders in the United States” on Medium.



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