School of Architecture Director Search

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Position Details

The School of Architecture at the University of Arizona seeks a dynamic and creative leader to serve as director, the chief academic and administrative officer of the school. We seek a director who will partner with faculty, staff and students to articulate a compelling, creative vision for the school’s pedagogy, research, outreach and operations, and design a viable plan for its phased implementation. The school currently offers three degrees: two accredited professional degrees—the B Arch and M Arch—and one post-professional research-centered degree, the MS Arch. In our relatively small, nimble college, there are ample opportunities to forge interdisciplinary collaborations at all levels with sister programs in the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning; in addition to the BLA, MLA and MSUP, it offers programs in Sustainable Built Environments and Real Estate Development. Both school directors report to the dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

We seek a director who will cherish the particularity of our place as an inspiration for reflection and creativity, who can capitalize on our distinctive identity in Arizona, amplify our voice in national discourse and expand our international visibility. In all these settings, a demonstrated commitment to inclusivity and ability to foster a diverse community and diverse contributions is essential. In particular, we desire someone who can capitalize on the history of local indigenous peoples and the university’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

The School

The School of Architecture at UArizona has long been a leader in sustainable design in resource-constrained contexts. Due to its location in the Sonoran Desert, the school has pursued strategies for living in and stewarding arid lands for decades, while also promoting an architecture of structural innovation, material experimentation and service to local communities. The professional B Arch program is currently ranked 9th by Design Intelligence among similar programs at public institutions and 23rd among such programs at all institutions. It is by far the largest program in the school and college, with more than 435 students. It is now accompanied by a still-growing M Arch program and a newly re-launched MS Arch program, together enrolling more than 40 graduate students. All these degrees carry the federal STEM designation. In addition, the school contributes courses to several other undergraduate and graduate programs and architecture faculty have joint appointments or courtesy appointments in nine other programs, among them the Arizona Institutes for Resilience; UArizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing and Performance; the School of Information; the School of Art; and several graduate interdisciplinary programs.

The school boasts a longstanding design-build program, spacious studios, a large and well-equipped Materials Lab, regular study abroad offerings and a growing program of fundraising. Our engaged faculty (20 full-time and 20 part-time), award-winning pedagogies, active research programs and commitment to educating an increasingly diverse student body make the school a rich setting for experimentation and leadership in the design and study of the built environment. Read more about the school.

The College

The College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture issued the CAPLA Strategic Plan in 2019 and the research profile of the college, publication output and grant revenues have grown strongly as a result. The college contributes to the land grant mission of the university in part through the Drachman Institute, which facilitates community planning and design via outreach projects focused on design-build, water infrastructure and more. Finally, we are a recognized leader at UArizona for our equity, diversity and inclusion efforts; on this, view the CAPLA EDI website.

For additional information on all these facets of the college and our commitment to building a changing world, visit: About CAPLA, CAPLA Vision and Strategic Plan and CAPLA State of the College and Annual Report.

In addition to the degrees listed above, the college offers several graduate certificates and dual degrees. Recently, it launched a microcampus program in Lima, Peru (UArizona Lima and CAPLA Partners with UPC Lima to Launch Global Microcampus Program in Sustainable Built Environments) and is contemplating other international partnerships.

The University

The University of Arizona is the flagship research institution of the state and is ranked 20th nationally among public research institutions. It is the oldest public institution of higher learning in Arizona (dating to 1885), founded as a land grant university on homelands of the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui peoples. It serves more than 46,000 students, over 30% of whom are Hispanic. For more information, see: About the University of Arizona and UArizona Interactive Fact Book.

UArizona has particular strengths in the fields of earth sciences, arid lands, hydrology, natural resources, indigenous languages, sociology and public health, many of which relate to design of the built environment. The CAPLA research initiative RESTRUCT has built partnerships across campus in fulfilment of both the college and the university strategic plans. The current UArizona strategic plan dates to 2018; it may be found here.

The City and Region

The site of Tucson on the Santa Cruz River lies within the northern reaches of the beautiful and ecologically rich Sonoran Desert. It is the oldest continuously inhabited place in the continental United States and boasts a rich history of indigenous, Spanish colonial, Mexican and Anglo settlement, not to mention the more recent influx of Asian-Americans, refugees from Africa and the Middle East and others. It hosts a population of over one million people in the larger metropolitan area. Indeed, Southern Arizona has been a magnet for travelers, tourists, artists, scientists, naturalists, archaeologists, other scholars and retirees since the 19th century. In 2015, Tucson became the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the US, joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). Located about 60 miles from the international border with Mexico, fast-growing Tucson and its surrounding region serve as a model of the mix of socio-political, demographic and environmental changes soon coming to the rest of the country.

Position Responsibilities

The director’s responsibilities include:

  • Cultivation of community via equitable, inclusive faculty and staff hiring, mentoring and assessment: the director must be able to energize and build the faculty and staff, demonstrating transparency in articulation of values, goals and processes
  • Research development via tireless advocacy for work on emerging issues of the built environment
  • Curriculum management in processes of shared governance with faculty: the director should be engaged in teaching, empathetic to students and energetic in fostering curricula that prepare students for progressive critical practice
  • Budget management and financial stewardship with an ability to develop and manage resources through donor relationships, planned growth and vigorous student recruitment, steering the school into a sustainable future
  • External relationship building with practitioners, professional organizations and other schools of architecture in the US and abroad: the director should be eager to engage the design community and potential partner institutions, while safeguarding the distinctive nature of the university as an educational setting

Minimum Qualifications

  • Professional degree in architecture
  • Record of productive research and/or practice
  • Significant experience teaching (five years or more) in a well-recognized institution of higher education in the US or abroad
  • Experience working collaboratively with others in a position of academic or administrative leadership
  • Record of accomplishment in recruiting, training, mentoring and promoting individuals of diverse backgrounds/expertise/points of view
  • Experience in fiscal management

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD or other advanced degree
  • Professional licensure or viable path to it
  • Evidence of commitment to the mission of public education
  • Experience in fundraising

To Apply

For more information and to apply, visit this site.

You will need to supply the following:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • References
  • Portfolio (optional)

Review of applications begins the first week of November, but applications are invited until the position is filled. The intended hire start date is July 1, 2022.

Apply Now


Contact Laura Hollengreen, CAPLA associate dean for academic affairs, at