College of Design Winter 2018 Update

Message from the Dean

Dear College of Design faculty and staff,

It has been eight months since we launched the College of Design and our three new schools: School of Architecture & Environment, School of Art + Design, and School of Planning, Public Policy and Management. Collaboratively building a new college is not an easy enterprise, and everyone across our community has put in tremendous effort, without which our new schools would never have gotten off the ground.

Needless to say, we have been going through a lot of change and transition over the past months. Change can be difficult even under the best possible conditions, and we must acknowledge that the current state of higher education offers us a backdrop that is far from ideal. Like all academic units on campus, we are in the midst of a multi-year effort to make significant reductions in our operating expenses. It is no exaggeration to say that we have all been feeling the effects of the budget reductions and I want to thank you for your many contributions in creating solutions to the budget situation that allow us to continue prioritizing our students, programs, and research. The added challenge of negotiating change while reducing costs has made it all the more important that we support each other during this period of transition.

Each school and department has its own internal dynamics, unique opportunities, and individual challenges. Over the last month, I have been meeting with schools and departments to listen to faculty and staff, and will continue to do so regularly. My goal is to understand what is working well for you and what still needs improvement or fixing. I am committed to working with each of the schools, departments, and programs to support your work in targeted ways appropriate for your disciplines and spaces.

Our departments and programs across the college are currently wrapping up faculty searches, student recruitment, and academic proposals, and our academic units have also submitted a record number of course proposals and revisions this year. All of this takes significant time and effort on the part of our faculty and staff. As we head into the end of the term I would like to express my appreciation for your commitment to growing and strengthening our academic programs and your ongoing collaboration as we settle into our new structure.

I look forward to continuing to support you in your work and celebrating your important contributions to our academic community and beyond.


Christoph Lindner
Dean and Professor