Tuesday, May. 11, 2010
In a move approved by Utah State University’s Board of Trustees, the university’s Department of Landscape and Environmental Planning will become part of the College of Agriculture, strengthening both the department and college’s commitments to sustainable development.
The change, which will occur July 1, is part of strategic restructuring in the LAEP department’s current administrative home, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, which is being divided into a college that includes the humanities and social sciences and a new Caine College of the Arts. As part of that split, USU President Stan Albrecht gave the LAEP department faculty and administrators a unique opportunity to evaluate the department’s plans and goals and consider which college could best support them.
“No academic program can be all things to all people nor can LAEP serve every need of our discipline or culture,” Sean Michael, LAEP department head said. “To answer President Albrecht’s charge, our faculty first asked what pressing design and planning problems our department is uniquely positioned to solve. Second, we asked what larger contribution to those problems is USU equipped to address.”
To answer the questions, Michael said the department embarked on a five-month discovery process that included LAEP students, alumni, the department’s advisory board and colleagues at USU and other campuses. Outside experts were solicited, including Patrick Miller, former president of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In addition, deans and department heads from leading design schools at Penn State University, Texas A&M University, and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.
“Since its inception as a foundation of the university’s land- grant mission, the College of Agriculture has joined colleagues to address the myriad environmental challenges of our growing society,” Michael said. “The college has historically been a close partner in offering design education and its mission encompasses many of the disciplines that are the basis of sustainability: economy, environment and community.”
USU’s College of Agriculture is led by Dean Noelle Cockett.
“The addition of LAEP to the college’s team will link the disciplines of design and planning in LAEP with colleagues in the college and its affiliates, including the Center for Water Efficient Landscaping, the Utah Climate Center, the Western Rural Development Center, the Utah Botanical Center and Utah House,” Dean Cockett said. “I am particularly excited about the synergy that exists between the faculty and students of LAEP and the Department of Plants, Soils and Climate. This is an exciting move which will strengthen our efforts in sustainable development - an area of research, education and outreach that serves people in Utah and spans the globe.”
Contacts: Sean Michael, 435-797-0509, firstname.lastname@example.org
; Noelle Cockett, 435-797-2215, Noelle.Cockett@usu.edu