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CAPLA names new associate dean

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Cooper Temple

Architecture senior Jose Gonzalez works on a design project at the College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture on Tuesday. The college recently added an associate dean of research to help increase the college’s research efforts.

The College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture recently named an associate dean for research.

Arthur C. Nelson was appointed to the leadership position, which is a new addition to CAPLA. The research area of CAPLA is the only section undergoing changes within leadership positions.

“The smaller units within CAPLA don’t have deans,” said Mary C. Hardin, associate dean and professor for CAPLA. “They just have directors, so they won’t be making any other changes.”

Janice Cervelli, the CAPLA dean, selected Nelson for this position.

“Dr. Nelson brings vast experience in helping colleges across the [U.S.] build strong research programs,” Cervelli said.

According to a UA press release, before working at the UA, Nelson worked at Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and the University of Utah. According to CAPLA’s website, Nelson’s research has been supported by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and several other organizations.

“We’re really trying to help faculty members in our college learn how to do that better — that is, to bring in grant funding that supports their research,” Hardin said. She said she thinks the productivity of faculty members will also improve with publishing and funding their research.

Nelson is also a resource for students and faculty members here on campus who need help with research.

“He is really good at helping to mentor junior faculty with their research agendas and is excellent at bringing students into those research projects,” Cervelli said. “That’s exactly what we’re looking to do with our college and to help advance the university in general.”

Cervelli said she is optimistic about building the college’s research portfolio, as well as the number of grants and contracts faculty will attract. According to Cervelli, Nelson has already acquired over $10 million to fund his research.

“It will help us hire some of the best faculty and recruit those faculty and students that are interested in the whole area of sustainable cities and the design and planning of sustainable cities,” Cervelli said.

Nelson comes from an experienced background, Cervelli said. He is now a professor within CAPLA and teaches a course on planning real estate development.

“[He brings faculty] from a diverse set of fields together to work on some of the most important problems facing cities today,” Cervelli said.

Cervelli said that the implementation of the new position in CAPLA will help complement the university, which is already one of the leading institutions in the world in climate change research.

“[It will also] help bring partnerships from the university into CAPLA, and vice versa,” Cervelli said.

Nelson was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

According to a UA News press statement, “Dr. Nelson believes that to be relevant, research and scholarship must extend beyond single degree silos while also reaching practicing professionals and their constituents.”

—Follow Brandi Walker @DailyWildcat

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