Dean's Message

WELCOME to this, the 10th-year issue of the online annual report of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. In the first issue, I walked out onto your computer screen as the new dean of the college and welcomed you to review the accomplishments of our students and faculty over the past academic year, read about our efforts to promote diversity in the college, and see the leading stories from the four schools constituting the college. Since this, now my 11th year as dean, is my outgoing year, I have decided to quietly return to teaching in the professional architecture program. The announcement can be found at

The highlights of that period would certainly include celebrating the college’s 50-year anniversary with five publications focused on its successes during that period of time, doubling the college’s endowment and innovations, financial management, and significant growth in research support facilities. The college has grounded itself in global outreach and in curriculum supporting sustainability through environmentally engaged design, construction, and planning programs.

I hope as alumni and friends of the college, that you too will find a place where you can make a difference in support of our faculty and students. You most certainly benefited from similar engagements either through guest lectures, financial and scholarship support, or through activities connected to our many research projects. Colleges are increasingly becoming financially self-reliant and encouraged to become entrepreneurial, while expanding their influence, research and scholarship. This can’t happen without your support.

In 2017-18, within the School of Architecture + Design; we are looking forward to expanding our robotics and rapid prototyping capabilities and the design and construction of the next Solar Decathlon solar house to be held in Dubai, UAE. Within the School of Public and International Affairs, we are offering new undergraduate degrees; within the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, the construction of Hitt Hall; and within the School of Visual Arts, expanded digital curriculum offerings. It will be an exciting year.

Dr. Richard Blythe, formerly the Dean of Art, Design and Architecture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Australia, has been chosen as the seventh dean of CAUS and will begin in October. The university announcement can be found here:

I wish each of you reading this great success in your careers and personal life. Please stay connected with us and come back for a visit at any of our locations in Blacksburg, Alexandria, Richmond, and Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Until then, I hope you enjoy this annual report.


Jack Davis, FAIA LEED AP
Reynolds Metals Professor and Dean