February 27, 2017 - The University of Texas at Austin has appointed Michelle Addington as the next dean of the School of Architecture. Addington comes to UT Austin from the Yale School of Architecture, where she has served as the Hines Professor of Sustainable Architectural Design since 2010.
Her appointment begins July 1, and she will hold the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture.
“Michelle is an intellectual visionary and understands the critical and evolving role of design, architecture and planning. The interdisciplinary perspective she brings from academia and her professional career is unique,” said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. “I am thrilled to have her join us and lead one of the top programs in the country. Her contribution and leadership will be a huge benefit to the university and school, and, most importantly, to our students.”
Educated as both an architect and engineer, Addington brings a broad, interdisciplinary perspective to the university. In addition to her professorship in the Yale School of Architecture, Addington holds a joint appointment with the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Yale, she taught at Harvard University, worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and as an engineer and manager with DuPont.
Addington holds undergraduate degrees from Tulane University and Temple University, and a master’s degree and doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her teaching and research focus on sustainable energy systems, advanced materials and new technologies. In 2009, Architect Magazine recognized her as one of the top 10 architecture faculty members in the nation.
“I have been very fortunate in my career to work with incredible people in many sectors and at several different institutions. This is a truly rare opportunity to lead one of the premier architecture schools in the country, and I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the responsibility,” explained Michelle Addington. “The school’s previous deans have set the bar very high, and I look forward to meeting the challenge ahead. In a world undergoing rapid change, the thought leaders of tomorrow must be able to negotiate shifting terrain across multiple disciplines. The School of Architecture at UT Austin is uniquely poised to chart a path forward as we develop the next generation of thinkers and designers of the built environment.”
Addington replaces Elizabeth Danze, who has served as interim dean since July of 2016.
“This is an exciting time for our school. Michelle brings a broad background and unique perspective to the job, and will make an inspiring leader in the field of architectural education,” remarks Danze. “I’m looking forward to working with Michelle.”
The search for a new dean was led by a cross-departmental committee of Architecture faculty, staff, and advisory council members.
The School of Architecture’s undergraduate program is ranked sixth in the nation, and its graduate program is consistently ranked in the top 15. It is one of few public schools to achieve such rankings at both graduate and undergraduate levels. The school offers degrees in architecture, architectural history, community and regional planning, historic preservation, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainable design and urban design. Its programs merge theory and practice, and draw interdisciplinary connections. The School of Architecture’s faculty includes many accomplished and award-winning professionals. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1, the school has about 340 undergraduate students and 350 graduate students.