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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

New Directions

Robert Miller, a professor and director of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston, S.C., is joining the UA’s School of Architecture this summer.

He will be the director of the School of Architecture, which is under the umbrella of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Faculty, staff, students and local practicing architects were a part of the selection committee who chose Miller.

“”He was the most interesting to students, and I think he would be the most supportive of students. He seemed to be really focused on his role as an educator, which I thought was really to his merit,”” said Frank Mascia, a member of the search committee. “”He’s also going to give the faculty the chance to be even better than they are. Although he’s going to be involved in what’s being taught, he’s really going to be involved in inspiring faculty. We see this as one of his major strengths.””

Mascia is the president-elect of the American Institute of Architects and principal architect of CBG Architects and Planners, Inc. He was brought on the search committee to find a new director as a community representative. He has served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the past 15 years.

“”I got interested in the University of Arizona actually a couple of years ago,”” Miller said. “”Dean Cervelli was the dean at Clemson University, and she and I worked together. I feel like the faculty at the school is very strong; they’re doing really fine work and I’m just incredibly honored to get to work with them.”” He kept in touch with Cervelli, and she told him what a great school the UA was.

“”Rob Miller was identified as the candidate who was the best fit for the job, brought the best compliment of talents and leadership skills to help move the school forward,”” said Jan Cervelli, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Cervelli says he is the “”best possible leader,”” adding that, in all her time hiring, she has never found a better fit than Miller.

“”The School of Architecture is already nationally ranked and we intend to go higher,”” Cervelli said. “”Rob is the guy to do that.””

Miller said he was impressed with the school, the faculty and the professionals who support the program.

“”Their new building’s amazing, their facilities, especially the shop are just astonishing. It’s really a great program,”” he said.

Miller said his goals are to understand the school, its traditions, how it works and where it’s headed.

“”I do know they intend to become the preeminent design school in arid climates, so my mandate really is to work with the faculty and the local professionals and students and make the school become that,”” he said.

He laughed when asked about whether or not he was excited for the new climate.

“”I’m basically leaving hot and humid for hot and dry as hell. They both have really strong regional traditions in both cultural and building and design traditions. They both have striking natural settings although they’re very different from each other. I’m really excited about the change,”” Miller said.

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