As members of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, we have the unique pleasure and responsibility of mentoring the next generation of cultural producers. Our internationally-recognized faculty and alumni contribute their intelligence and talent daily to re-imagining how the world looks, sounds, feels and moves; how information is organized and displayed; how we engage both the real and virtual spaces of our collective interaction. As a community of artists and writers, designers and performers, we tell unexpected stories about this world as we simultaneously strive to fabricate new worlds. The College is committed to transmitting the skills and knowledge required for these world-making activities at the highest level of rigor and discipline to the broadest and most diverse audience. We visualize, perform and popularize the ideas, forms, and arrangements that only moments ago seemed unthinkable.
Director of the School of Architecture since 2007, I am pleased to serve the College as Interim Dean, effective January 1st. The search committee for a permanent dean has already begun meeting and I look forward to sharing progress of their work with you in the coming months. I hope that you will become a part of the search for a new dean by nominating candidates (the job description can be found at http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/search/deanada.html) and by attending public forums with the finalists.
As many of you know, the College is undergoing a significant transformation. In August 2013, we officially become the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, a move that marks an inspired commitment to, and investment in, architecture, design, and arts training within the public higher education sector. We are prepared and ready to embrace and build upon our new identity.
Encompassing four academic schools (Architecture, Design, Art & Art History and Theatre & Music) as well as Gallery 400 and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the new College structure underscores our strengths and positions us for continued innovation and imaginative new partnerships. A unique mix of creative thinkers, we coalesce around a shared purpose, knowing that our study and practice can and do generate dramatic change.
Fundamental to our mission is the College’s steadfast commitment to preparing our students for ambitious, critical engagement with diverse cultures and communities. Our learner centered, multidisciplinary, inventive education is essential preparation for living effectively in a time of accelerating change.
As we move forward together, I am thankful to be able to support this extraordinary learning community, and to help advance our collaborative, relevant, and challenging educational approach. Thank you for your support of and engagement with this dynamic student body, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Robert E. Somol Interim Dean, College of Architecture and the Arts