Tom Fisher to step down as College of Design Dean

Dear Colleagues,

Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design, has announced his decision to step down as dean at the end of June. Please join me in extending deepest appreciation to Tom for his leadership of the college over the past 18 years. He has made exceptional contributions to the college, our university, and our community.

Tom became the inaugural dean of the College of Design in 2006, after serving for the previous decade as dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Under his leadership, the college has expanded its programs to become one of the most comprehensive design schools in the country and a hub for socially responsible and engaged research and practice. Tom has worked with faculty, staff, and students to build interdisciplinary collaborations, to develop innovative uses of digital technology, and to make the college more integrated, flexible, and student centered.

As a professor in the School of Architecture and as dean of the College of Design, Tom has been a leader in the public interest design movement, a strong and effective advocate for using design to tackle the major economic, environmental, and societal challenges facing the world. Educated in architecture at Cornell University and in intellectual history at Case Western Reserve University, Tom lectures and writes extensively on architecture and design. His publications include 10 books, nearly 50 book chapters, and more than 400 major articles. He is a founding member and incoming president of the National Academy of Environmental Design and a leader in local and national organizations, including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, Minneapolis Parks Foundation, Urban Land Institute, and AIA Minnesota.

After Tom leaves the deanship this summer, he will assume the positions of Dayton Hudson Land Grant Chair in Urban Design and director of the University’s Metropolitan Design Center, where he has served as PI on grants funding the Center’s work. He will continue research and teaching in conjunction with metro-area partners and grant makers.
Tom will continue to work with me and the college’s leadership team through June to facilitate a smooth transition of leadership to an interim dean. With the College of Design in the process of completing its collegiate strategic plan, I will appoint an interim dean for the coming fiscal year in order to give the college time to clarify its needs and its strategic directions before we search for the permanent dean.

Again, please join me in expressing deepest appreciation to Tom for his outstanding service to CDes and the University and in wishing him well in his new role.


Karen Hanson signature.

Karen Hanson,
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

email sent January 13, 2015 to the Administrative Email Lists (AEL).