Department Head's Welcome
Cities, regions and their residents face significant challenges in the coming decades, and significant opportunities. Addressing the challenges and building on the opportunities will require skilled design and planning professionals who value both theory and practice, who can push professional boundaries while respecting community desires. We seek to ignite both the visionary and the pragmatist in each of our students, so that our alumni can picture a better future, and demonstrate how it can be achieved. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and go to diverse futures, but they generally share a commitment to working for the public good, and sustaining both natural ecologies and human communities.
As a department we value student-centered teaching and mentoring, and have outstanding faculty committed to students’ flourishing. Core courses teach the skills that all graduates need, while our increasing range of elective courses provides skills and knowledge that is just emerging into practice. This means our students graduate with strong professional skills, while bringing fresh technological and design/planning knowledge to their new employers upon graduation. The University also provides good value compared to the costs of education at private universities.
This is a particularly exciting time to join the LARP community. Our new, LEEDs Gold (maybe Platinum?? We’re trying!), sustainable new building will open in January 2017. Our curricula are being revitalized. Our international programming gets broader each year. Alumni relations are strong and getting stronger. Studio topics are fresh and exciting. Our students are graduating on time, within the four years for undergrads and 2 or 3 for grads. And student placement upon graduation is strong, in response to the gradual growth in the economy.
This is also an excellent time to invest in the department as an alumni or a research funder. We have one of the highest percentages of faculty winning awards of any doctoral-granting LA/RP department. Publication of scholarship is thriving. Faculty members are increasingly engaged in transdisciplinary work, leading collaborations across departments, institutions, and countries.
With all of this, we are still small enough to be friendly. Email us, get an appointment to visit, talk to our current students and alumni, learn about the university. Look through these webpages to find a program that stirs you, intrigues you, helps you see your next self. Come help us create a better future.
Elisabeth Hamin, Department Head