College of Architecture and Design graduate programs approved unanimously by committee

Bruce Walton

The Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design received unanimous approval for three new graduate programs from the state of Ohio on Sept. 27.

Doug Steidl, dean of the CAED said though the committee approved the three programs, the CAED is waiting on final approval from the Ohio Board of Regents’ chancellor, which will come about a month after committee approval.

The approved programs included the master’s of landscaping architecture I & II, master of health care design and the master of science in architecture and environmental design.

Steidl said he and the CAED faculty wanted to expand on the college’s current graduate curriculum. The faculty had to decide what the basis of those additional programs would be.

“We came to a conclusion,” Steidl said, “to focus on health, environment and research. That became the basis for those curricular additions.”

Professor Elwin Robison spearheaded development of the Master’s of healthcare design program.

Steidl said the need for the program arose because of the demand to service the thriving healthcare industry in northeast Ohio. The area is home to Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, two of the largest healthcare facilities in the nation.

“We really have a unique thing happening in northeast Ohio,” said associate CAED dean Bill Willoughby. “There’s going to be a profound amount of healthcare growth in the next 25 years, and in that growth of the industry, there’s going to be more facilities.”

Willoughby said the facilities in northeast Ohio are changing based on improving the quality of the region’s healthcare facilities.

The Master’s of Landscape Architecture I and II program, co-developed by Jonathan Fleming and Charles Frederick is comprised of two master’s degrees: MLA I and MLA II.

Fleming said the MLA I was developed as an accredited graduate degree for new practitioners in landscape architecture. MLA II was developed as a post-professional degree intended to specialize a student’s general knowledge of landscape architecture.

Willoughby said the MLA I and II is noteworthy because it is the first landscape design program available at Kent State.

“Landscaping is the queen of spades in a royal flush,” Willoughby said. “We aren’t a College of Architecture and Environmental Design without it.”

Fleming said the programs Kent State offers are focused on building design. With the added MLA program, the college has the potential to serve the region well.

The Master’s of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design, developed by Adil Sharag-Eldin, expands on the college’s existing master’s of architecture post-professional degree.

Sharag-Eldin said the new degree is a change of direction for the existing post-professional program. The faculty worked to create a research-focused program suitable for students with degrees in any subject area, not just architecture. The degree has five research-based concentrations for students to choose from.

Steidl said the new master’s programs are not the only aspects of the college to see improvement. Expansion of the college’s facilities for its new building, the expansion of the CAED’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and its faculty’s expertise are all important steps forward.

Contact Bruce Walton at [email protected].