Search for new CAED dean comes to a close

Adrian Leuthauser

The College of Architecture and Design narrowed down its search for a new dean with the final three candidates of Mark Mistur, Brook Muller and Maria Bellalta.

Each candidate had approximately 45 minutes to give a presentation about themselves, what challenges they believe face the college and how they would tackle those challenges. The three potential deans finished presentations on Monday with the previous ones on Thursday, Feb. 11, Friday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 15.

Amy Reynolds, the Dean of the College of Communication and Information, helped in the search of the new CAED dean.

“We’ve asked the deans to talk about a couple of different things like challenges facing higher education today and how they have dealt with them,” Reynolds said. “As well as experience and examples they have had in the broader community and how they would approach work specifically as dean of college of architecture and environmental design.”

Mark Mistur, The School of Architecture Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Associate Dean presented first, tackling the questions at hand in front of about 200 faculty and students.

One of the main challenges Mistur touched upon was the cost of higher education.

“The sustainability of higher education is in question because of costs, especially in privates,” Mistur said. “It has gotten out of control.”

Mistur went on to talk about the different ways to potentially bring costs down.

“Having online classes could help develop a global faculty and could build a larger network,” Mistur said.

On Friday, Feb. 12, candidate Brook Muller gave his presentation to the same amount of people.

Muller tackled the idea of making changes on day one. Muller explained it as going and acting fast, but also acknowledging the fact that it will take time and that not everything will happen right away.

“Timing and culture are everything,” Muller said, as he talked about his past experiences and what those experiences have meant to him.

Muller talked about the of rising costs in education as well.

“We want students to participate and research, but with the rise in costs makes it difficult,” Muller said.

The final candidate and current dean of the school of landscape architecture at Boston Architectural College, Maria Bellalta spoke on Monday, Feb. 15. The issue that Bellalta spoke about was the decline in enrollment.

“I pointed out three ‘hot spots’ that we are confronting,” Bellalta said. “One of which is the sudden rate in enrollment decline.”

Bellalta believes that this is because there is less funding for undergraduates, so there is less growth there.

Each of the three candidates will be considered as the process continues and the search committee will help determine the new dean for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

Adrian Leuthauser is the CAED reporter for The Kent Stater, contact him [email protected]