Steidl appointed new Dean of Architecture

Kyle Berg

Douglas Steidl, the new dean of the College of Architecture, has been involved in the various architecture projects on Kent State’s campus long before his first day on July 1.

Steidl said his company, Braun & Steidl Architects, Inc., was involved with building the M.A.C Center, the WKSU building, the Eastway dining facilities and the Conference Center at Kent State Stark.

About two-thirds of the staff at Braun & Steidl are Kent State alumni, Steidl said, so he felt like he was already part of the university.

Steidl retired from his firm in June 2007 after working for the company for 23 years. He said he has a list of reasons he wanted to come to Kent State.

“The College of Architecture and Environmental Design, I believe, is a jewel at Kent State,” Steidl said. “It’s a great place. It’s done a good job of educating design professionals, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

He said its strong point, in terms of the design professions, is it provides what he calls a “full spectrum of knowledge.”

“It’s rich in history and design theory,” Steidl said. “But it also talks about and teaches the practical side as well, and I think that’s a full spectrum.”

Steidl said he was also impressed with the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, which, according to its Web site, is the combined home of Kent State’s graduate program in urban design and the public service activities section of the Urban Design Center of Northeast Ohio.

He said he was fascinated the CUDC Director Terry Schwarz recently spoke to the Akron Roundtable, which is an organization of the business and political leaders in Akron.

When asked what he would do as the new dean of architecture, Steidl said, “I think the school’s in good shape, so I look at myself as having more significant things to accomplish. The first one is raise the profile of the college. Kent State is a great school, but it’s known regionally and the College of Architecture I think can be known nationally and even internationally.

“The second thing that would be my duty would be to attract the best faculty and staff to the college.

“Thirdly, I need to ensure that the finances are adequate, and that means fund-raising and management of the resources on the financial end. I think my work with AIA which has 75,000 members and a $55 million budget would give me some experience there,” Steidl said.

Contact Technology and College of Architecture reporter Kyle Berg at [email protected].