Welcome back for another year. I appreciate the opportunity the t r a c e team has extended to me in order to communicate both recent and anticipated improvements for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Each is with a commitment to improving the learning environment for our student body.
1) As we venture on moving the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) to Playhouse Square, we expect to strengthen all aspects of the CUDC’s missions: service, research, and education. The CUDC houses our graduate urban design program, half of our graduate architecture program, and our urban research and outreach activities. When complete, the facility will have one large seminar space seating up to 36 students, one classroom, a library, two exhibit spaces, open office space for up to 12 faculty and staff, student studios, and a work room. We are currently negotiating for model shop space. These improvements greatly enhance our ability to focus on strengthening ties to city officials and is an exciting endeavor to both our graduate programs and our commitment to the city of Cleveland.
2) The university has implemented a new budget model, Responsibility Centered Management. Each college is now responsible for generating and managing its own resources. I support this budget approach because it aligns responsibility with authority. Although we are only five months into this model, I believe students will experience the benefit of budget decisions made on their behalf.
3) Conducting a year-long study of student advising approaches, the university has concluded advising should be decentralized to each college. As a result, our advising staff has been reorganized and located in 202C Taylor Hall. Our advisors are Sandra Buckey, Benjamin Stenson, and Trinidy Jeter. I trust each of you will be proactive in using this office for your benefit.
4) The Morbito Library expansion is complete and I have observed increased student use of this facility. The additional shelf space, seating, computer access, and staff work area are welcome additions.
5) Professors Adil Sharag-Eldin and Pamela Evans have implemented a research facility in the Gym Annex. As we increase our building research initiatives, I anticipate a growing need for faculty/student research labs.
6) This summer the studios and library in Taylor Hall were abated of asbestos. This is the first step in upgrading Taylor’s studios. As funds become available, we intend to install new energy efficient lighting, remove and replace the flooring, and complete painting the studios.
The future of the college looks bright. Over the past 15 years our college undergraduate and graduate programs have grown in size and complexity. The college has more than 800 students located in Taylor Hall, The Gym Annex, Tri-Towers, Cleveland, and Florence, Italy. In a way, we are victims of our own success. It is my contention that one of the largest educational difficulties we face is the lack of contiguous student space. Significant learning often occurs through informal student encounters, discussions, and crits with one another. With each year separated from the rest, these impromptu encounters are greatly diminished. In other words, my biggest goal as Dean is to put together a strategy for a new college building.
For this to be successful, we will need the absolute commitment of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration to earn this very expensive honor through our actions. We must be viewed as deserving both within and outside the university. We need to take care of and improve the facilities we currently have. We need to win design competitions, increase our funded research output, and keep the extremely high record of success on the Architecture Registration Exams. We must also continue our history of recruiting the best academically prepared students in the university for each of our programs. If we are successful, we will all benefit.
My best to each of you for a very fruitful remainder of the semester.
Jim Dalton, FAIA
Dean, College of Architecture and Environmental Design