Message from the Dean
Dear College of Design Faculty and Staff:
Welcome to the start of the 2018-19 academic year. And a special welcome to all of the talented new faculty and staff who have just joined our academic community.
Building on our momentum from last year, we will continue to advance our shared priorities of increasing diversity, enhancing research, supporting curricular innovation, and ensuring the success of our students. As we enter this new academic year, I want to invite you to join me in giving increased focus and energy to a priority that connects everyone in the college across all of our many disciplines: creating and sustaining a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. This priority not only matters because we share a deep commitment to social justice that has positively shaped and steered our college for many decades. It will also help us to be even more innovative.
Over the course of this academic year, you will be hearing about the many diversity initiatives that faculty, students, and staff are working on. I know that these efforts will be widely supported, and I hope that they inspire us to work creatively and collaboratively in further strengthening who we are and the impact we have as an educational community.
To provide additional support for these efforts, I have appointed Gerardo Sandoval (Associate Professor in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management) to the newly created role of Dean’s Fellow for Diversity. Over the coming two years, Gerardo will play a significant role in designing and leading strategic initiatives, including chairing the College of Design Equity and Inclusion Committee and helping to implement the College’s Diversity Action Plan.
As we prepare for the start of fall term, I also want to share some recent highlights and updates from across the college:
- This summer the Interior Architecture Program in the School of Architecture & Environment became the Department of Interior Architecture. Associate Professor Linda Zimmer has been appointed as the first department head.
- The Historic Preservation Program held its annual Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School at the Cottrell House in Portland, one of the historic properties that makes up UO’s John Yeon Center. Visiting Professor Chad Randl led the field school and will also serve as interim director of the Historic Preservation Program this year.
- The Department of Landscape Architecture participated in the 2018 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Conference at the University of Hong Kong in early September. Led by faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture, the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Research Hub engages a transnational network of universities, government officials, and external organizations across the Asia-Pacific region.
- The Department of the History of Art and Architecture is welcoming its first cohort of 4 new PhD students into its revitalized PhD program as well as a new joint hire with environmental studies. Students and faculty in the department will be able to meet for seminars and discussion sections in the newly remodeled Lawrence 241 classroom.
- The Department of Architecture’s undergraduate program has just been ranked 3rd nationally in sustainable design by Design Intelligence and its graduate program is now ranked 6th in sustainable design. Its graduate and undergraduate programs also made the top 10 for healthy built environments and the top 30 most admired architecture schools.
- The undergraduate program in Landscape Architecture is also climbing the Design Intelligence rankings and is now listed in the top 10 nationally in three areas: sustainable design, research, and healthy built environments. Both its graduate and undergraduate programs were ranked among the top 25 most admired landscape architecture schools.
- The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management’s newly launched Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE) received $140,000 in funding from the Economic Development Administration to support the ongoing work of the University Center at the UO. Alongside their colleagues in IPRE, and bolstered by three new tenure-track professors, the PPPM faculty are continuing to advance their new PhD program proposal through the university approval process.
- Returning from a summer of national and international exhibitions, projects, and residencies, the Art Department faculty are moving into studios in the new 510 Oak School of Art + Design research building and launching the Center for Art Research. Their undergraduate curriculum is moving to a 4-year BFA model and the MFA is becoming tuition-free.
- As Product Design celebrates its 10th anniversary, the department is launching a 4-year BFA program, educating award winning students, and the Eugene-based Product Design faculty are moving into the 510 Oak building, the new School of Art + Design studio research building downtown. The Portland-based Sports Product Design Program just graduated its first cohort of graduate students, is building out an innovation lab with state-of-the-art fabrication equipment, and hired its second tenure-track faculty member.
- College of Design Student Services has expanded its services, including the hiring of three new undergraduate advisors. Remodeled space in the former Lawrence Hall mailroom will provide a new suite for academic advising and career services for all students in the College of Design.
As you can see, we have much to be excited about in the year ahead thanks to the imagination and dedication of our community, and I look forward to supporting you in realizing your academic and professional goals. As part of that, let us also work together across the college to make “diversity in design” an ever more meaningful reality at the University of Oregon.
Dean and Professor