Appointment of an Interim Dean, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (PDAD&C #68)
From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: April 27, 2020
Re: Appointment of an Interim Dean, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (PDAD&C #68)
I am pleased to announce that the Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor Robert Wright as Interim Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design for a one-year term, beginning July 1, 2020. As noted in PDAD&C#9 (2019-20), Dean Richard Sommer’s appointment is coming to an end on June 30, 2020, and as noted in PDAD&C#63 (2019-20), the Advisory Search Committee for the next Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design has taken a pause in its work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Wright was the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry from 2017 to 2019 and oversaw its merger with the Daniels Faculty. During his time as Dean, Professor Wright was noted for his collaborative and transparent leadership style, and his dedication to relationship-building during a period of transition. Professor Wright has held several other leadership roles at the University, including Associate Dean and Associate Dean Research at the Daniels Faculty, Program Director of the Landscape Architecture Program, and Director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the School of Graduate Studies.
Professor Wright holds his academic appointment in the Daniels Faculty, where he is the current Director of the Centre for Landscape Research (CLR). As Director of the CLR, Professor Wright has been an advocate for enhancing the knowledge base of professional landscape architecture, and has fostered multidisciplinary research from across the University on projects such as the Green Roof Innovative Testing Laboratory, which brings together individuals from landscape architecture, biology, hydrology, and building science to explore green roofs, walls, and solar technologies.
Professor Wright’s research is design-centered and interdisciplinary in nature, with a focus on creative experimentation in landscape architecture, urban design, and industrial art. He has received several awards for his work, including the 2018 Ontario Association of Architects Award for Design Excellence in honour of his landscape contributions to the new McEwen School of Architecture building at Laurentian University. And in 2017, he was awarded a Connaught Global Challenge Award as a part of the Urban Genome Project, which looks at city formation and evolution over time. Professor Wright received his BSc from the University of Ottawa, and his MLA from the University of Guelph. He is an active member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and he is a fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
Please join me in thanking Professor Sommer for his service as Dean over the past decade, and Professor Wright for his willingness to take on this important interim role.