School of Architecture Announces Leadership Change

Arch2o-img_45913.jpgDear School of Architecture Faculty, Staff, Students, and Friends,

Over the last decade I’ve had the honor and privilege serving as Head of the School of Architecture. I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished together, we’ve done a lot! My major goals as Head was to support curricular innovation and the strengthening of our programs. finding ways to work with faculty, staff, administration, students and alumni to identify the needs of the future. 

Starting with the invention of the nation’s first (and still only) Bachelor’s of Design in Architecture (BDA), continuing by strengthening our Bachelor’s of Science program, creating a nationally award winning “out of the box” revision to the M.Arch professional degree, growing our Master’s of Science Degrees including our newest and most radically innovative degree, the Master’s of Science in Research Practices

These significant program accomplishments achieved over the past ten years are part of an incredible trajectory of excellence which the School has sustained for over a century. This academic year, many people contributed to an amazing series of Centennial events that honored the people, places and communities shaped by the School of Architecture at Minnesota and set the pace for an equally great century to come.

Its deeply satisfying and exciting to see how much the School has changed and grown over the years of my leadership. Now, I’m equally excited to announce that beginning in June, I will transition into the role of Associate Dean for Research here at the College of Design. This new role at our college will allow me to work closely with Dean Tom Fisher and other College leaders to advance research and outreach goals for faculty and centers in the College – including the two groups I’ve worked mostly closely with in my own research, the Consortium for Research Practices and the Virtual Reality Design Lab (VRDL).


As most of you know, teaching is one of my great passions and I’m pleased that this new position will allow me to continue as a member of the architecture faculty and to keep teaching within the School. And my office will even remain in Rapson – just down the hall in the Dean’s suite.

Beginning immediately, the School of Architecture will commence an internal search for our new Head. I look forward to taking part in that process and I would encourage each of you to do the same. You will be notified on opportunities to participate in the coming days.

I can’t say enough about what what an honor it has been to serve as Head. I look forward to continuing to move the School, College and University forward in my new role as Associate Dean.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. Thank you all for your continued support and engagement with the School.


Renee Cheng

Head of the School of Architecture
College of Design