May 17, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - David Cronrath has been named the next dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland. He will begin his Maryland post on July 1.
Recognized as one of the ‘Most Admired Architectural Educators of 2010,' Cronrath, a registered architect, is currently dean of the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Art and Design. He brings to the role experience in post-Katrina restoration and a commitment to building a sustainable future.
"Sustainability research and practice is a core mission at Maryland, and this perfectly positions the school to play an important role in unraveling some of our century's greatest environmental and energy challenges," says Cronrath. Our design, planning, preservation and development programs each have a major contribution to make in fashioning a sustainable future - especially in collaboration with other disciplines."
In Louisiana, Cronrath developed collaborations with environmental, engineering and business colleagues to help restore the Katrina-battered Lower Ninth Ward and to address the severe erosion that is rapidly damaging communities in the Mississippi Delta.
"I want to explore some of the similarities with communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that are threatened by erosion," Cronrath says. "Do we defend in place? Relocate? These are large-scale policy issues. But people's lives and livelihoods are involved, so we also need to consider the human impact from the regional scale down to the level of the community and the individual house."
The Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is heavily invested in sustainability issues in a multi-disciplinary way through its National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, its Colvin Institute for Real Estate Development, as well as faculty research and design activities in areas such as "new urban" communities that are energy efficient. Faculty and student design innovations have ranged from a visionary approach to urban farming to building an advanced solar-powered home that placed second in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon. The Maryland team is a finalist in the 2011 Decathlon.
"Maryland's success in the Solar Decathlon is a perfect illustration of an exceptionally productive collaboration between engineering and design professionals," Cronrath points out. "Our nation is wisely investing in STEM education - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. But these efforts truly thrive when we add in the creative arts to create a 21st century economic STEAM engine."
Cronrath was named one of 2010's Most Admired Architectural Educators by Design Intelligence, the leading journal of the design professions. He's spent 25 years as an educator and registered architect. His professional work includes renovation of transit stations and development of old piers into Penn's Landing, a residential-entertainment-tourist complex stretched along the city's waterfront. According to Cronrath, his business experience serves him well in higher education because he's learned how to stretch resources to maximize impact.
Current dean, Garth Rockcastle, is excited about the experience and zeal Cronrath brings to the School. "The transition of leadership gives us a chance for rebirth, to renew commitments and launch new initiatives," Rockcastle says. "I'm excited about what Dean Cronrath will bring to the School and community at large and I'm confident that what lies ahead for us is a persistent, progressive journey." Rockcastle will remain on the faculty and focus on his teaching and creative work.
"I am especially excited about the appointment of Dean Cronrath," says Maryland Provost, Nariman Farvardin. "He brings a wealth of experience in building strong interdisciplinary programs with a special emphasis on sustainable design. I am confident that under his leadership the School will strengthen its research programs and burnish its reputation in sustainable building design and practice."
Farvardin adds that he will work with Cronrath to improve the School's facilities infrastructure and enhance its collaboration with other University programs.
"The University is very fortunate to have recruited David Cronrath as dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation," says University President C. D. Mote, Jr. "Cronrath's interests in sustainability and interdisciplinary work align with the University's priorities. His expertise and experience are an excellent background for our programs in architecture, community planning, historic preservation and real estate development. He will contribute greatly to building the presence of the School on campus while preparing his students to become professionals. "
School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Senior Media Relations Associate
University of Maryland
The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland is home to four academic disciplines: architecture, urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development. Committed to educating its students and community about the importance of sustainability and smart growth, the School practices an interdisciplinary approach to education, research, creative work, and community and professional service. For more information, please e-mail us or call 301.405.8000.
School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation | Collaborative Education for a Sustainable Future