Syracuse University School of Architecture Names New Dean

Tim Goral's picture

Michael A. Speaks, a dean of the College of Design at the University of Kentucky, and professor of architecture there, has been named dean of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. He'll assume that position July 1.

The appointment concludes a national search to replace former Dean Mark Robbins, who stepped down last spring.

Speaks is the former director of the graduate program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. He has taught in the graphic design department at the Yale School of Art, and in the architecture schools at Harvard University, Columbia University, The University of Michigan, UCLA, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and the Berlage Institute and TU Delft, in the Netherlands.

Speaks has published and lectured internationally on contemporary art, architecture, urban design and scenario planning. His essays and exhibitions in the 1990s were among the first to introduce a new generation of Dutch architects and planners to a broader audience in North America.

Nancy Cantor, SU Chancellor and President, said that Speaks's experience with "real-world problem solving.., particularly the challenges of older industrial cities" make him a good fit with Syracuse University.

A university release about Speaks said he has played an important role in debates about city branding and alternative models of city planning.

The search committee and I are deeply impressed with Michael’s scholarship and leadership, as well as his vision for integrating multiple perspectives in the design process,” says Eric Spina, Syracuse University's vice chancellor and provost.

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