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Edwards stepping down as CAUS dean

By Julie Kane

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 08 - October 17, 1996

Patricia K. Edwards has announced that she will step down as dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, effective June 30, 1997.

Provost Peggy Meszaros has named Charles Steger, vice president for Development and University Relations, to chair an 11-person search committee to find a replacement for Edwards.

"Dean Edwards has served the university with great distinction. She assumed the mantle of leadership during difficult budgetary times. Yet in spite of those limitations, she continued to move the college forward. She is to be commended for a job well done," Meszaros said.

Upon her appointment as CAUS dean on June 16, 1994, Edwards stipulated that she would serve as dean for a three-year term, after which she would resume her faculty career. Prior to her current post, Edwards had served as interim dean since March 1993.

During Edwards' tenure, all of the professional programs in the college were re-accredited. Within strict budgetary controls, she created new opportunities for learning through interdisciplinary initiatives across departments and colleges. She was instrumental in working with other deans in creating the School of Public and International Affairs, the Virginia Tech Design Consortium, and the Roanoke Studio. These collaborative efforts continue to provide interdepartmental learning, contribute service to the local community, and enhance external recognition of the college.

Since 1994, a new degree program in industrial design has been added to the curriculum, and the construction of a large addition to the architecture building at Cowgill Hall is in progress.

Under Edwards' direction, CAUS has averaged more than $2.5 million in sponsored research annually, placing the college in the top three of its peer institutions for that criteria. For the remainder of the school year, she plans to continue restructuring efforts in the college and working to achieve CAUS' goal in the university's capital campaign. Other priorities include supporting integration of the various college locations and advocating the adoption of the proposed environmental-studies program.

A professor in urban affairs and planning, Edwards joined the college in 1974. In 1980, she became chair of the graduate urban-affairs program, and in 1989, she was promoted to assistant dean for research administration. She is an extensive researcher, author, and editor, who has presented papers at professional conferences throughout the world. Currently, she is co-chair of the steering committee for the 1997 International Congress on Housing and the Built Environment.

Edwards holds Ph.D. and master's degrees in sociology from Virginia Tech and an undergraduate degree in music education from SUNY/Potsdam.

Also named to the Search Committee were Yvan Beliveau, building construction; Karen Evans, doctoral student in CPAP; Jaan Holt, Washington/Alexandria Center; Wendy Jacobson, landscape architecture; Janet Johnson, dean of the College of Human Resources and Education; Diane Beckley Miller, fifth-year architecture student; Denise Orden, classified-staff representative; John Randolph, urban affairs and planning; Joseph Wang, architecture; and Georgia Ann Snyder-Falkinham, vice chair of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Advisory Council.