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Dean’s Message

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning, a community that puts its values in to action.  Our focus on student success led us to create:

  • A direct admissions program called “Design Foundations” that provide students a suite of three interdisciplinary courses they take their freshman year along with wrap around services including advising, peer mentoring and a dedicated librarian
  • A campus model of a Student Success Center with private consulting rooms and dedicated advisors throughout your university experience
  • Other student support resources such as a digital fabrication lab, collaborative studio/lab spaces, a video/photo lab, and a café that serves as the social hub for our college and the adjacent College of Fine Arts
  • A recruitment and retention strategy that has led to 150% growth over seven years and a mix of students making us one of the most diverse units on campus served by a female-majority faculty and the most diverse staff on campus
  • The first-in-nation collaborative space with our professional organizations AIA Utah and ASLA Utah in Downtown Salt Lake City
  • Design Build Utah @ Bluff, an exemplary design-build program that works with the Diné in the Four Corners frontier area of the state
  • A semester-long study abroad in Tuscany designed to keep students on pace toward graduation
  • The #7 small program in the nation in planning and the #12 public program for value in architecture
  • More on the horizon

We have done so by being rooted in four commitments:

  1. Responsibility: A responsibility to past, present and future generations for the sustainability of our creative expressions that at their heart reallocate natural resources
  2. Resilience: A systemic understanding that polycultures and diversity nurture greater ecological and community resilience
  3. Respect: A respect for the health and culture of all people and places
  4. Response: The demand to respond to local manifestations of the grand challenges of our time through innovative and collaborative modes of practice that demonstrate our commitment to excellence and quality

These four commitments are game-changers that suggest that care is the ethical imperative of our professions demanding new modes of thinking and doing to transform the world into a better place.  We believe in the inspirational quality of both evidence and empathy; we believe in creative play rooted in curiosity; we believe in the necessity of symphony, the power of story and the criticality of meaning.  Quite simply, this is a special place at a special time where there is a convergence of faculty, students and professional communities that seek positive, transformative change.  We are a community that lives by the saying “be the change you wish to see.”  This is the Utah School and we sincerely hope you come and join us…to make a difference.



Keith Diaz Moore, Dean
College of Architecture + Planning