Toward a New School
Urban & Regional
New School Task Force
Margaret Portillo, Chair
Eugene Roy Graham
Maria Christina Gurucharri
Introduction and Charge to Task Force
The following review of the proposed school of Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional
Planning was conducted from September 10 through November 22, 2008 by an internal task
force appointed by Christopher Silver, Dean of the College of Design, Construction and
Planning1. The task force was chaired by Margaret Portillo and included Walter Dukes, Eugene Page 2
Roy Graham, Maria Christina Gurucharri, William Tilson, and Zhong-Ren Peng. Additionally,
three members joined the task force: Robert Macleod representing the College Faculty Council,
Catherine Taylor, a doctoral student in Urban & Regional Planning, and Chase Webb, a fifth year
Landscape Architecture student. Dean Silver charged the task force with four primary targets:
Develop recommendations for the implementation of a new school containing
Landscape Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning
Benchmark quality indicators and recommendations from comparable institutions with
such merged programs
Consider quality outcomes arising from such a merger at the University of Florida
Summarize challenges and opportunities voiced by the involved units' constituency
To gather information, the task force interviewed administrators from respected programs
nationwide with a variety of combined structures containing both disciplines, held
departmental and joint meetings with Landscape Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning
faculty members, interviewed the primary support staff from the affected units, involved
student representatives in the process as well as solicited opinions from several members from
the departmental advisory boards.
Notably, the historic preservation program was initially included in the proposed new school
structure; however based on factors outlined by Dean Silver in his charge to the task force, the
decision was made to maintain Historic Preservation's current interdisciplinary focus and stand-
alone structure. An expanded rationale for the organizational structure of HP supports its
current identity and future vision; this was developed in conjunction with a summarization of
leading historic preservation programs. 2 All units housed within the College will have the
opportunity to interface equally with the historic preservation program as currently organized.
Overview of Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning
Both units focus on professional education and applied research relating to natural and built
environments. Further, they both share a longstanding history of community outreach and
service. Throughout the remainder of the report, Landscape Architecture will often be referred
to as LA and Urban & Regional Planning as URP. The LA faculty concentrates most heavily on
the professional undergraduate program while supporting a developing masters program. URP
has grown most rapidly in its doctoral enrollment, especially in the area of information
technology for planning and in growth management and transportation.
1 See the unabridged charge to the task force in the appendix
2 The rationale for the organizational structure of the historic preservation program with benchmarking data are found in the
Both departments have a well rounded balance of senior and junior-level faculty who
contribute to their programs' high national rankings.
Landscape Architecture Mission and Degree Offerings3
Overall the departmental mission in Landscape Architecture is to advance the ethical, creative,
and skillful application of the arts and the sciences in planning, designing, implementing and Page 3
managing diverse landscapes. Toward that end, the department offers three, fully accredited
BLA: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
MLA: First Professional Master of Landscape Architecture
MLA: Post Professional Master of landscape Architecture
Undergraduate minor in Landscape Architecture
The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture emphasizes professional practice and service while the
Master of Landscape Architecture focuses on professional practice and service within the
context of creative scholarship. While the department has had some engagement in the
college-wide PhD program, there is an opportunity to increase the level of participation in the
doctoral program. With the current faculty and space resources in the department, the interim
Chair of Landscape Architecture maintains that her faculty is teaching to capacity in the
accredited BLA and MLA programs.
Urban & Regional Planning Mission and Degree Offerings
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning defines its mission as being a leader in
planning education, research and practice for the citizens of Florida, in the Southeast and
within the nation. URP seeks to educate planners who will work with innovative technologies
to create livable cities within sustainable environments. To accomplish its mission, the
department endeavors to strategically position itself to benefit from the vast resources of the
University of Florida and the larger planning profession. The department offers two accredited
graduate degrees and a minor as follows:
MURP: Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Graduate Minor in Urban and Regional Planning
Undergraduate Minor in Urban and Regional Planning
URP participates heavily in the DCP doctoral program and this involvement is anticipated to
continue, if not grow further, in the new school.
Opportunity for Strategic Growth
Both units will need to address enrollment growth strategically to align with College and
university priorities. The URP Chair believes that enrollment for the MURP could increase to
about ten students; likewise, he estimates that an additional five to eight students could be
added to the doctoral program.
3Data was not available on the enrollment of LA and URP minors; this data is tracked by UF central administration and not
provided to individual departments.
In contrast, the LA Chair recognizes the real challenge of balancing the needs of a first rate,
accredited professional undergraduate program with the increasing urgency to grow
enrollment at the graduate level. Currently the MLA offers a more generalized course of study;
however, the program appears ready to begin developing explicit foci that reflect faculty
expertise and disciplinary areas of specialization. Interestingly, both Chairs noted prospective
student interest in graduate studies in Urban Design, which neither unit currently offers; for Page 4
example, those students with an architecture degree seem attracted to this specialization.
Administrators and Faculty, Staff, and Students
The units each have a department chair; LA has an interim chair and URP has a chair who was
appointed through an external search. LA has nine full-time positions--six tenured faculty (two
full and four associate rank), two untenured faculty (one assistant and one associate), and one
lecturer. Urban and Regional Planning has ten full-time positions--seven tenured faculty (four
full and three associate rank), two untenured faculty (one assistant and one joint appointment),
and one assistant professor to be hired (search in progress)
LA has one experienced office manager providing administrative support and assistance with
the MLA program. URP also has veteran, experienced staff--one office manager, one staff
member coordinating student services, and one OPS staff person assisting with research grants.
The majority of LA students (73 in upper division) are enrolled in the BLA program with 25 MLA
students and 1 doctoral student. The majority of the URP students (95) enroll in the MURP
program with 17 in the doctoral program.
Perceived Departmental Identity and Values
For the LA faculty, design studio and faculty expertise represent the life blood of their program.
They agree that the core foundations of the Landscape Architecture program rests on a quality
design curriculum, full accreditation, and program autonomy. The program's connection to the
profession, including the Landscape academy and alumni, was perceived by faculty as critical to
achieving their mission of professional education and applied research.
For the URP faculty, research and scholarly work symbolize their departmental core identity,
articulated as "spatial planning with social conscience." Their focus is realized through a
diversity of research areas and the departmental research centers. The well established
GeoPlan Research Center, for example, has received numerous awards for its sustained
research excellence in GIS research. This unit has one of the most active research programs in
DCP, with average research awards of about $3 million annually.
Both departments appreciate a supportive, collegiate, and collaborative work environment and
appear to value deeply close-knit professor-student mentoring. Again, community outreach
and service are core values uniting the departments as well as a commitment to
interdisciplinary and international collaboration. For example, LA faculty offer international
programs in Paris (fall semester graduate and undergraduate program) and has once offered a
service learning experience in Indonesia. URP has a study aboard program in Brazil. Students
also participate in the Network for European and U.S. Regional and Urban Studies (NEURUS)
program. Plans are underway for a summer Study Abroad Program in China for summer 2009.
Leadership and Organizational Structure
Critical to the success of the new school is leadership to guide the vision for the future and
make concrete progress on shared initiatives. The Task Force recommends a single director to
lead the new school while maintaining a collaborative and collegial work environment that both
faculties value. Leadership and organizational structure surfaced as the greatest and Page 5
potentially the most divisive issue voiced by faculty in task force meetings and interviews. In
considering organizational options for the new school, many models were proposed, debated,
drawn, scrutinized and studied. All had some advantages and potential drawbacks.
Many faculty members participating in the URP + LA meeting with Dean Silver seemed to
concur that a model of a single school Director would be best suited to the new school,
promoting leadership within a lean administrative structure. The task force recommends an
administrative model consisting of a Director and Program Coordinators where a Director works
closely with Program Coordinators whose roles and responsibilities will be determined through
on-going discussion with new school faculty. The School Director/Coordinator model offers
organizational structure and flexibility for the emerging structure. Importantly, the
coordinators can allow for disciplinary representation (e.g., LA graduate coordinator) and
promote shared identity (e.g., urban design coordinator). A national, open search for this
candidate would be most ideal; however, current fiscal constraints in the College and university
probably do not support this. Nevertheless, the search and selection of a School Director
should be given highest priority. In the meantime, the current Chairs will need to work in
collaboration with one another to begin the new school work plan and start implementing
faculty-endorsed, priority changes. Therefore, we see a transition in leadership occurring in
two phases where the department chairs begin collaborating in earnest, followed by the search
and naming of a School Director. Concurrently, coordinator positions will be agreed upon and
put into place. After a School Director is named, the role of the Chairs will be evaluated and
redefined to reflect the vision of the New School.
The New School Director will need to continue established quality programs, facilitate the
transition into the new school, prioritize and facilitate new proposals while troubleshooting the
inevitable challenges of people and limited resources. Additionally, the Director not only needs
to be skilled as an external advocate but needs finesse as an internal facilitator. He or she must
pave the way for a collegial, intellectually exciting and progressive environment that will
become a springboard for innovation. This individual must appreciate both disciplines, having
the administrative experience and personality characteristics to be an effective agent of
change. The new Director also needs to be adept at developing and reinforcing communication
between the faculty and the Dean as well as across constituency groups. Faculty members
were in agreement that the Director for the new school could hold expertise in either discipline
with a doctorate or a terminal master's degree and must have a clear record of research and/or
Active engagement with faculty across departments about the rationale, steps and status of the
new school is critical to successfully launching and building a strong foundation. Faculty need
to see its purpose and the potential in order to become engaged stakeholders.
If key stakeholders such as faculty, staff, students, alumni, and practitioners affiliated with the
respective departments, become disengaged or disenfranchised, then progress will slow and
may even threaten the ultimate success of the merger. Knowing what programs and
departmental culture will be honored and remain intact, what will be changed, and how this
will be accomplished need to become abundantly clear. The need for clarity and a shared sense
of purpose surfaced repeatedly in departmental meetings with the Task Force.
Faculty across units will have more vested interests in contributing to the new and established Page 6
URP centers to enhance dynamic, interdisciplinary scholarship that will bring into sharp relief
the identity of the new school and advance the pool of knowledge. The Task Force strongly
recommends that new school retain discipline-specific tenure and promotion criteria to reflect
and respect disciplinary uniqueness and distinctions. Further, cross-disciplinary, formalized, and
attentive mentoring for untenured faculty should be a priority in the new school. Mentoring
processes become even more essential for untenured faculty during periods of organizational
restructuring and realignment. Safeguards should be put in place to limit untenured faculty
time on committee work and new course preparations during this transition.
The staff most likely will need to adapt their work processes to the new structure and this
expanded scope of work needs to be acknowledged with appropriate incentives and rewards.
The importance of engagement and maintaining clear channels of communication during the
transition period cannot be overemphasized.
Again, engagement and communication was viewed as critical so students understand the
integrity of their degree programs is not in any way being impacted by the new school structure
while making clear any potential new course offerings or opportunities for new student
organizations or initiatives.
Benchmarking of Landscape + Planning Units
Arizona State University
Ken Brooks, Director of School of Planning and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, since 2006
Ken Brooks remarked that, in the past decade nationwide, he has witnessed more landscape
architecture and planning programs merge than separate. Unfortunately, "Most have been
more like living together than a marriage and very few were shotgun weddings like Michigan
State." For the majority of these mergers the impetus was a resource savings measure but in
the end they did not generate appreciable savings. At ASU, the School of Landscape
Architecture and Planning merged when the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture was a small
emerging program; this joining worked well initially under one particularly effective
administrator but deteriorated upon his departure. Subsequently, the Dean moved the LA
program out of planning and into architecture but the identity of landscape suffered in this
organizational structure. Currently, the situation has improved now that the School has an
Urban Design focus and the last three faculty hires have dual degrees in landscape architecture
From his perspective, Brooks believes that to be most successful, mergers need to create a new
hybrid with interdependent activities. Without such merged programs, there is not a strong
justification for connecting landscape and planning programs.
It is critical to intertwine the disciplines through avenues such as urban design, environmental
studies, housing and community design, etc. that connect design and policy. Further Brooks
maintains recognition and rewards for such interdisciplinary activities need to be in place.
He also recommends that faculty identify common values and develop a shared vision and
mission for joint programs and initiatives. However, identifying commonalities is not enough; it
is also important that they recognize their differences. Brook asserts that tenure and Page 7
promotion criteria should not describe performance per se but instead describe outputs that
have contributed to the body of knowledge in the respective disciplines.
Brooks recommends that the LA+URP merger at the University of Florida should capitalize on
the fact that the state is in the top five in the nation regarding environmental policies and is a
state with more rigorous licensure for the practice of landscape architecture. Within this
context, he sees a unique opportunity to design a program that integrates design with policy
and that can specifically address ways to make a difference in the state of Florida. This type of
program could further "put UF on the map" and would result in productivity that University
administrators would be more amenable to supporting.
Clemson University Department of Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture
Dan Nadenicek, Past Department Head
The merger of the Department of Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture at Clemson
University may have been easier than others documented in this benchmarking exercise
because the original units were programs, not departments.
The Chair of the Department of Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture is responsible for
the budget oversight and physical planning, while Program Directors are in charge of teaching
assignments and curricular issues. From the perspective of former department head,
Nadenicek, the merger has increased opportunities for collaborative research and scholarship
between regional planning and landscape architecture. The joint T & P process has worked
between the units since the tenure and promotion guidelines focus on nationally significant and
peer reviewed work, regardless of content area.
Overall Nadenicek considered the merger to be successful; yet this was attributed in large part
to the personality types and attitudes of the involved administration and faculty members.
From a curricular standpoint, commonalities between units offer possibilities for joint courses
and that this is where efficiencies are found, not by reducing FTEs. Like Ken Brooks, he
maintained a new program like Urban Design could offer an important common thread.
Iowa State University- Department of Landscape Architecture; Department of Community
and Regional Planning
Douglas Johnston, Chair since 2007
Both departments of Landscape Architecture and Community and Regional Planning are
comparable in size and administrative structure. One Chair oversees the two departments and
landscape architecture has an associate chair, program coordinator, administrative assistant,
academic advisor, director of graduate education and 17 faculty members.
Community and Regional Planning has an administrative assistant, academic advisor, director of
graduate education and 15 faculty members.
When discussing the challenges of the merger, Johnston indicated that the faculties still appear
somewhat anxious about the merger. From his perspective, one of the problems was that the
merger process did not have sufficient faculty input and participation from both departments; Page 8
however, he see potential for the merger to provide opportunities to work together on
planning-oriented projects such as public facilitation needs, small-area planning studies and
other opportunities to integrate teaching with such outreach projects.
Kansas State University Department of Landscape Architecture, Regional and Community
Dan Donelin, Department Head since 1995
The merger of Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning at Kansas State
has been fraught with difficulties and one of the biggest challenges of the merger revolved
around tenure & promotion criteria. The Provost insisted on joint T & P criteria for the merged
unit; developing these criteria resulted in a contentious process. Since the department has 21.5
faculty, 16 in LA and 5.5 in planning, the T & P votes are done at a 3:1 ratio. Other challenges
and conflicts have arisen in faculty searches where the educational qualifications of candidates
have become a point of contention. This has lead to debate over what defines a terminal
degree (Ph.D. versus masters) and the larger argument of a common definition of what defines
research and scholarship.
Donelin did not feel that a merger between a landscape and urban and regional planning
necessarily offered any curricular advantages. For example, if LA students take one additional
planning course and planning students take three LA courses, then what is the true benefit? In
his context, Donelin also felt that the merger did not increase collaborative faculty research nor
strengthen the department's national standing. While the program is ranked in the top ten in
the country, the department head attributes this to the strength in their construction curricula.
Texas A & M- Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
Forster Ndubisi, Department Head, since 2003
Currently, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning has over 400
students, with 12 faculty members in the Landscape Architecture program and 22 faculty
members in the Urban Planning program. The departments of Landscape Architecture and
Urban Planning at Texas A&M University were merged in 1992 in order for it to have a bigger
voice at the College of Architecture. In 2002, the faculty at the department voted to stay
together as one department rather split into two; in 2003, the current department head Forster
Ndubisi was hired.
Similar to the University of Texas Austin model, the department of Landscape Architecture
and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University is organized by degree program. For example, the
Texas A&M real estate program is called Master of Science in Land Development. The
department head is in charge of budgeting, resource allocation, faculty hiring, etc. Faculty lines
belong to the department, not to the individual programs. Tenure and promotion consideration
is conducted at the department level. Initially there were different tenure and promotion
standards for Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning faculty, now it's the same criteria
across the board. From Ndubisi's viewpoint, the current organizational structure with degree
programs works well by fostering cross-curriculum teaching, interdisciplinary research
collaboration and increased faculty productivity in research and scholarly work.
University of Texas at Austin
Fritz Steiner, Dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture,
The current Landscape Architecture program has four faculty members and more than 40
Master students. The near term target is to have six faculty members and 60 master students.
The Community & Regional Planning program has 13 faculty members and more than 90
students. The School of Architecture at the University of Texas -Austin has no departments, just
programs arranged by degrees. Graduate programs exist in Landscape Architecture,
Community & Regional Planning, Urban Design, Sustainable Design, and in Interdisciplinary
Studies. The Dean is in charge of budget and resource allocation, faculty hiring, and oversight of
the unit. Faculty lines belong to the school, not to programs; faculty hiring is school-wide.
Further, tenure and promotion consideration occurs at the school level. Much of the
operations of the school occur by committee; for example, the committee on graduate studies
is responsible for graduate-level curriculum development while the scholarship committee
oversees school-wide scholarship.
According to Steiner, the program structure affords the school more flexibility to consider
professional changes, reduces insular thinking, fosters interdisciplinary research and
collaboration, and creates the foundation for interdisciplinary programs. The synergy of
Landscape Architecture and Community & Regional Planning stems from the growing areas of
urban design as well as ecologic design and planning. The School is also organizing an
interdisciplinary team to develop a LEED-ND (LEED for Neighborhood Development) program.
Quality Indicators of Benchmarks
The most important quality indicator at several universities with LA + URP programs was the
ability to create a credible hybrid program whether in Urban Design at ASU or a Masters in Real
Estate at Texas A & M. Effective mergers realized a gain in collaborative research and
scholarship noted by administrators at Clemson University, University of Texas-Austin, and
Texas A & M. Several recommendations were made to prioritize the support of interdisciplinary
research ventures by the College. Another quality indicator surfaced as the marked increase in
doctoral students at Texas A & M. Collaborative studios jointly taught with LA + URP faculty
represented yet another mark of quality as did the strategic hiring of faculty with joint
experience and education across fields. While four of the targeted program cited advantages of
such a merger, two programs did not appear to accrue benefits. Namely, Kansas State and
Iowa State University did not perceive added value from a merger; in these settings the LA and
URP programs appeared, for the most part, to operate in relative isolation from one another.
Grassroots support for a merged structure by faculty seemed to be lacking in both cases,
resulting in a somewhat acrimonious environment.
Quality Indicators for the New School at UF
The following recommendations reflect comments voiced by LA and URP faculty in
departmental and combined faculty sessions on the new school as well as ideas that were
developed by the Task Force who saw quality indicators as reflecting (1) degree programs,
curricula, and student experience, (2) research and scholarship, (3) leadership and resources,
(4) collegiality and a shared sense of purpose. Page 10
Quality of Degree Programs, Curricula and Student Experience
Create a new Master of Urban Design Degree as a new hybrid program that will
capitalize on the opportunity to engage policy and spatial planning with physical design
Create a new specialization for Ecological and Regional Planning and Design that
maximizes opportunities for cross-fertilization and fusion between programs
Promote joint studios (this is especially advantageous to URP students) and encourage
joint field experiences beneficial to LA + URP students occurring locally, regionally,
nationally, and internationally
Expand the Ph.D. program with hybrid LA + URP concentrations
How can more degree programs, specializations, and course offerings be managed with
leaner support and the current faculty base while maintaining the expected quality in
current degree programs?
What are creative ways to reduce teaching loads, particularly the required contact hours
in LA curriculum that do not compromise excellence, while growing the research
enterprise in the new school?
How can the number of DRFfaculty in the new school be increased, particularly in LA?
How can physical spaces be identified for students and faculty that support joint studio
offerings and faculty interaction?
Quality of Scholarship and Creative Work
* Maintain discipline-specific tenure and promotion guidelines
* Continue, expand and reward collaboration between LA and URP on research projects Page I 11
* Encourage more faculty involvement in URP research centers and college-wide centers
* Promote interdisciplinary research topics for graduate students, especially PhD students
* Develop marketing strategies to promote new programs recruiting doctoral students
* Implement more research opportunities at the undergraduate level
* In recognition that the development and implementation of shared, innovative research
activities take time, how can time be allocated for such strategic planning?
* Where can untapped sources of funding be found to support newjoint programs and
* How can these shared scholarly initiatives be successfully launched without
overextending the faculty?
* How do junior faculty best maintain focus and productivity during the organizational
transition and be well mentored by senior faculty in the new school?
Quality of Leadership and Resources
* Respect disciplinary uniqueness
* Create a culture of innovation and focus
* Promote new partnerships with the School of Architecture and the Historic Preservation
Program for the Urban Design curriculum
* Promote new partnerships with units across campus like Geography and Ecology for the
Ecological and Regional Planning and Design curriculum
* Encourage cluster hires through joint appointments with other units or recruit faculty
with degrees in both fields, when appropriate
* Maximize efficiencies (e.g., teaching- co-listing courses and college-level committee
* Enhance mentoring of junior faculty
* Invite visiting scholars who offer a progressive model for bridging both disciplines
* Employ practicing professionals with hybrid practice experience for
adjunct/visiting/affiliate professors Page 12
How can the Director develop vision, trust, participation, and excitement to launch and
cultivate a sense of identity and purpose for new school?
* How should the new school leadership balance growth with quality? For example, what
is the optimal number of doctoral, masters and undergraduate students, given faculty
and physical space resources?
* If the new school increases its reliance on part-time faculty and doctoral students to
support expanded programs, how can Balkanizing be avoided?
Quality of Collegiality and a Shared Sense of Purpose
* Director must keep a pulse on stakeholders in the new school and place a premium on
clear and open communication as well as dialogue and convergence of ideas
* Prioritize focused joint initiatives in teaching and scholarship
* Bring in lecturers and visiting scholars with hybrid expertise in LA + URP to inspire
those participating in the new school
* Seek input from other units across campus that have merged, such as in the College of
Education and other benchmarked programs
* Consider using a facilitator to help establish unifying strategies at a critical meeting, if
necessary, (like UF's John Dain) with expertise in facilitation and conflict management
* Staff involvement is critical in maintaining the workflow in the new school. Involve staff
in defining their new roles and job descriptions. Consider rewards commensurate with
responsibilities, and increased productivity
* Seek input from staff on their work spaces, consider a central staff location, to improve
* Mark the merger with social gatherings with faculty, staff and students. Capitalize on
the restructuring and new launch. Develop new ways to commemorate the milestone.
For example, host a new school event and invite similar programs from other leading
universities to participate.
Develop a "white paper" that spells out the ideal conditions for such a school, establish
UF as a model program, document processes and results, and seek national publicity.
* Inter-unit department cultures, traditions, and philosophical differences are not trivial. Page 13
What can be done to cultivate collegiality across LA and URP faculty, staff and students?
* How does the new school avoid common pitfalls that have plagued other units with
similar organizational structures to explicitly avoid a merger in name only or one that
threatens disciplinary identity?
Summary, Recommendations, and Next Steps
Create a new organizational model
Create an organizational structure with a phased change to a School Director model
The new organizational model will maintain T & P guidelines at the disciplinary level
o Find resources to support an open search for the New School Director
o Maintain Department Chair structure until New School Director is appointed
o Study programs (existing and new) housed in the new school that need
coordinators. Define and assign coordinators agreed upon by Chairs and
Phase 2: New School Director in Place
o Evaluate and redefine Chair roles to reflect the vision of the new school
o Operationalize new administrative structure. The Director in conjunction
with program coordinators contribute to the administration of programs and
major endeavors within the new school.
Create a new Masters of Urban Design Degree (longer range but critical goal)
* Seize the opportunity to integrate policy and spatial planning with physical design
* Strategically position this degree program as a centerpiece of the school's identity
* Partner with other programs, with a vested interest in Urban Design,
such as Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Interior Design
* Benchmark other programs in Urban Design to fine tune goals and objectives
* Develop curriculum and program, co-listing existing LA and URP courses with an urban
Create a new specialization for Environmental Planning and Design (GIS)
* Again, capitalize on the opportunity to integrate policy and spatial planning with
* Continue to conduct joint GIS studios
* Co-list existing courses with an environmental planning and design focus
* Explore new supporting courses across disciplines in allied disciplines such as Geography
* Explore the possibility of integrating issues of sustainability, especially Low Impact
Development, into the specialization
Promote faculty initiatives
* Continue, expand and recognize URP/LA collaborations on research projects
* Encourage more faculty involvement in research centers, especially those housed in URP
* Prioritize mentoring of junior faculty, particularly during the transition times
* Consider cluster hires, when appropriate, with expertise across URP and LA
* Explore joint appointments with other programs/units
* Invite lecturers, visiting scholars, practitioners etc. who model the successful bridging of
Promote student initiatives
* Communicate clearly and frequently about the logic and process of the restructuring
* Involve students in the transition. For example, they could contribute to the new
shared mission statement, new school name, new logo, new academic and professional
* Encourage 100 % student participation in an international experience in the new school
(i.e., Paris, Brazil, China, etc.)
* Promote the expanded interdisciplinary research topics for masters and PhD students
* Introduce interdisciplinary LA + URP research and scholarship at the undergraduate level
Promote staff initiatives
Involve staff in defining their roles and responsibilities in the new school and consider
rewards for increased workload and productivity
Seek input from staff on ways to facilitate the transition and facilitate the workflow Page 15
Consider physical office proximities among new school staff, director, and program
directors; it would be ideal to locate the staff in fairly close proximity to one another as
well as to key administrators and coordinators
Celebrate new school milestones
Mark the merger with celebrations with faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders
Enlist Julie Frey and her team to get the word out in multiple venues
Host an event on the merger and invite programs in other universities which have been
through similar reorganization to participate. Write a white paper that discusses the
ideal conditions for such a merger, present the UF model and outcomes, and seek
Timeline Ideas for Planning and Implementation
November December 2008
New School Task Force completes their report
Share report with both departments and DCP Faculty Council for discussion and
Plan a retreat in early 2009 to begin a work plan on the transition, new school name,
short-term and longer range goals
Spring Semester 2009
Appoint a transition team representing both departments to keep focus and momentum
Host a faculty retreat and begin the work plan with goals continuing over the semester
Spring semester August 2009
Leadership, transition team, and faculty will spearhead work plan and draft a vision,
mission and strategic indicators for the new school with stakeholder participation
Present, redraft, finalize, and approve work plan with faculty majority (see constitution)
* Develop and refine ideas generated by faculty teams in the Fall 2008 semester:
(1) New Programs, (2) Curriculum, and (3) Centers/Collaborative Research
* Develop communications plan from mission to logo.
* Engage staff in planning logistics and beginning the transition
* Communicate the logic and benefits of the new structure with students and alumni
* Update communications network- retool websites and communication materials
June September 2009
* Celebration of New School
* Develop press releases on campus and in national professional networks to share news
* Host a series of celebration events with faculty, students, and friends of the new school