Message from the Dean
Dear College of Design faculty and staff,
Welcome to spring term. Looking back on this inaugural year for the college, it is fair to say that a lot has happened. I want to take a moment to provide some updates, celebrate some of our successes, and discuss some of the challenges we still face.
Over the course of last summer, in what was a heavy lift for all involved, more than 50 faculty and staff moved into new offices or workspaces throughout the college. Many of these moves were made in order to create affinities within the new school and college structure. These included:
- Creating three new administrative hubs for the new schools and bringing on key administrators to help support their academic operations.
- Relocating the College of Design Student Services hub (PODS) to the former dean’s office at the entrance to Lawrence Hall, which has led to a massive increase in the volume of students accessing their advising and support services thanks to the new location.
- Moving the Product Design studios from the Romania building into Lawrence Hall. It is great to have our Product Design students and faculty in Lawrence Hall!
- Working throughout this academic year on the design and programming of the new School of Art + Design research studios at 510 Oak, which will be occupied in Fall 2018.
Coinciding with our College launch party in the fall, we also launched our new website, which is actually four separate websites. Each site was built for the school it serves. These sites have continued to evolve since the launch, with new features and updates being implemented on an ongoing basis, as our communications team works with faculty and school leadership to customize the new sites to reach their distinct audiences.
In addition to the communications efforts, we recently hired two new graduate recruiters to support the growth of our professional programs in Eugene and Portland.
Faculty and students in various parts of our college have begun exploring curricular affinities and have started breaking down internal barriers leading to new collaborations and developments, such as:
- Members from student groups across the college have been participating in student leadership lunches coordinated by College of Design Student Services to collaborate on interdisciplinary initiatives, share resources and ideas, and provide feedback regarding student priorities and issues.
- The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) has a new PhD program proposal that is currently making its way through UO committees. PPPM has also been rearticulating its research profile and is now preparing to launch the new Institute for Policy Research and Engagement.
- History of Art and Architecture has been busy re-starting its PhD program and recruiting top graduate students. The department has also taken on the coordination of the cross-campus graduate certificate in Museum Studies.
- Our two newest Portland-based programs, Historic Preservation and Sports Product Design, will be graduating their first student cohorts this spring. Both programs are making huge strides in curricular development, enrollment growth, and engagement with Portland’s professional communities.
- The Urbanism Next Center (growing out of the Sustainable Cities Initiative) has just been created with a significant investment from the UO Presidential Fund. Involving faculty from across the college, as well as our campuses in Portland and Eugene, the center will research how changes in technology are reshaping cities.
- Landscape Architecture held the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscape Hub’s inaugural international conference this fall to tremendous success, and Urbanism Next just hosted a high-profile national conference. Both events significantly enhanced our reputation as leaders in sustainable urban design.
- The Art Department has been developing a new Center for Art Research that will launch this fall and will be housed at the new 510 Oak building. The Center’s mission is to shape social and cultural debate through creative practice and transdisciplinary collaboration.
- The Department of Architecture is currently developing the new Institute for Health in the Built Environment, as well as bolstering its partnership with Oregon State University through the joint TallWood Design Institute.
- Sports Product Design, History of Art and Architecture, and PPPM are wrapping up searches for 5 faculty positions, which are resulting in outstanding new hires (announcements coming soon).
And these are just a few of the recent highlights of the sorts of successes we are seeing from collaboration and innovation both within and across our disciplines. Despite the differing focuses and objectives that are represented here, there is a unifying commonality: each of these successes stems from the ideas and energy of our faculty and staff, and they are brought to fruition through the dedication and determination of those same individuals.
As a college, we share the priorities of increasing diversity, enhancing research, supporting curricular innovation, and ensuring the success of our students. Within your schools and departments, you are also developing goals and priorities specific to your disciplines and needs. The job of the College of Design is to support each of the schools in your ambitions and to invest in your success. As we build on this inaugural year it is my hope that we find inspiration in each other and allow the values of interdisciplinarity and collaboration to guide our exchanges across the college as well as with the rest of campus.
When we conceived the College of Design together we imagined that it would be future facing, outward oriented, and academically innovative. Thanks to your work, this vision is already becoming real. I remain tremendously optimistic about our shared trajectory.
Dean and Professor