UA Architecture Dean Returns to His Alma Mater as Dean of the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Dan Bennett, dean of the University of Arkansas School of Architecture since 1991 and interim vice chancellor for academic affairs since 1998, has accepted the position of dean of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University in Alabama.

Bennett will begin his new position effective August 7. Prior to coming to Arkansas, Bennett was head of the department of architecture at Auburn and had graduated from Auburn in 1968.

"The University of Arkansas will miss Dan Bennett very much. However, we are very pleased for him to be able to return to his alma mater in the top post in the College of architecture," said UA Chancellor John A. White.

"Dan has not only set a precedent of excellence at our school of architecture through his leadership and vision, he has been a great friend to the University. Dan stepped up to the plate with no reservation to serve as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs in addition to his post as dean. His insight about the University and how we can attain our goals has been invaluable to me. I will miss his friendship, support and wise counsel. He and Joan have made an indelible mark on this university and community," White said.

"Also, I am pleased Dan has agreed to continue serving the University of Arkansas by being a member of our Design Review Board. This ensures that he continue to visit us but more importantly ensures that the continuity envisioned for the plan will be maintained," White said.

It was those qualities that prompted Auburn to invite Bennett back to lead its College of Architecture Design and Construction.

"Daniel Bennett has established a well-earned reputation for outstanding achievement, high academic quality and leadership in architecture and higher education," said AU Provost William Walker. "We are very pleased that he has accepted our offer to return to Auburn."

The AU College of Architecture, Design and Construction, with about 1,230 students, offers undergraduate programs in architecture, building science, industrial design and interior architecture. The college offers graduate programs in building science, community planning, industrial design and landscape architecture.

Bennett’s nine years in Arkansas have left a lasting impression on those who worked with him, as well as on Bennett himself.

"I will greatly miss working with Chancellor White, the administration and faculty of the university. The past nine years here have provided both me and my family with wonderful opportunities, and we have developed friendships that will remain with us forever," Bennett said.

"While I am flattered and proud to have been asked to return to my alma mater to provide academic leadership to its College of Architecture, Design and Construction, the decision to leave the University of Arkansas has been extremely difficult," Bennett said. "I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the University of Arkansas and will always feel a deep kinship to the University and the many wonderful people that I have had the pleasure to know and work with."

Credited to Bennett’s leadership is the development of the school’s Community Design Center. The Center is an outreach component of the college in which students work with the college’s faculty to help towns throughout Arkansas refurbish areas through architectural design. The Center was created as a result of Bennett’s vision and a generous gift from Bernice Jones of Springdale. The Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies chair was subsequently created in support of the program.

"I am very proud of the accomplishments of the faculty and staff of the School of Architecture and the friendship and support provided by our alumni throughout the state and across the nation. It will be hard to leave them," Bennett said.

Bennett also has served the local community through his involvement on the board of directors of the Northwest Arkansas Habitat for Humanity since 1992. He also currently serves on the International Editorial Board of Journal of Urban Design, and the Arkansas Chapter AIA board of directors. He is an Ex-Officio member of the Arkansas State Board of Architects and also serves on the Board of DDEP (Downtown Dickson Street Development District).

Bennett received his bachelor’s of architecture from Auburn University in 1968 and his master’s of architecture in urban design from Rice University in 1974.

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