Shibley Named Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning

Release Date: October 25, 2010

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Long-time faculty member Robert G. Shibley has been named dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. His appointment is effective Jan. 1.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robert G. Shibley, long-time faculty member and a lead developer of both the University at Buffalo and City of Buffalo's comprehensive plans, has been named dean of the UB School of Architecture and Planning.

Shibley's appointment, which follows an international search, is effective Jan. 1.

UB's School of Architecture and Planning is the only school of architecture and planning in the SUNY system and offers accredited professional degrees in architecture and urban and regional planning. Shibley assumes leadership of the school as it prepares to undergo a major restoration and renewal project for its South Campus facilities in Hayes Hall and Crosby Hall -- two of the most historic structures and iconic buildings at UB.

"Through nearly three decades of service to UB, Professor Shibley has demonstrated a commitment not only to this university, but to all of Buffalo Niagara," said UB President John B. Simpson. "His teaching and research have inspired students and colleagues. His professional work has improved the quality of life for communities on and off campus. I am confident that Professor Shibley will lead the School of Architecture and Planning with the same vision and dedication that have earned him recognition as a respected leader at UB and in the region."

A licensed architect and certified planner, Shibley joined the UB faculty in 1982 as chair of the Department of Architecture, a position he held until 1990. Since 1990, he has held a joint appointment as a professor in the departments of Architecture and of Urban and Regional Planning.

"After conducting an international search for the School of Architecture and Planning deanship, it is gratifying to see that the best possible person to lead the school was one of our own faculty members," said Provost Satish K. Tripathi. "Bob's experience and success as an academic leader, his national reputation as an architecture and planning scholar, and his reputation in the community as a consensus building visionary elevated Bob's candidacy among his exceptional peers. I look forward to working with Bob to further the national reputation -- scholarly and educational impact -- of the school."

The search was chaired by Arjang Assad, dean of the School of Management, who cited Shibley's outstanding academic qualifications and national reputation in the fields of architecture and urban planning.

"From a field of candidates from excellent universities who had outstanding qualifications as academicians and leaders, Professor Shibley emerged as the candidate whose scholarship, leadership in the disciplines, and vision for the school stood out among his national peers as the natural choice to lead UB's School of Architecture and Planning," Assad said.

With more than 800 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, the UB school is a leading research center that focuses on accessibility, community development, urban design and digital media.

Shibley said UB's School of Architecture and Planning is "one of the great assets of this university and of this community."

"It's an enticing challenge -- not to mention a great honor -- to lead the school's continued growth and improvement," he added.

Shibley has taught courses ranging from "Buffalo Niagara by Design," a large, undergraduate lecture for a general education audience, to "American Urbanism" and "Sustainable Design: Democracy, Ecology and Urban Placemaking" graduate seminars.

From 1990 through 2004, he carried out major teaching duties as part of "Sustainable Futures," a UB course in Costa Rica that covers topics including sustainable development through studio and seminar instruction.

Shibley's achievements at UB include founding and managing the Urban Design Project, an award-winning center for the study and critical practice of urban design. As the center's director, he partnered with the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Place Inc. to develop a nationally recognized regional action plan for Downtown Buffalo. He also was a primary author of a comprehensive plan the city adopted in February 2006.

Shibley has served as campus architect and senior advisor to Simpson for campus planning and design. In that role, Shibley led the development of "Building UB: The Comprehensive Physical Plan," the university's first master plan since creation of the North Campus in the 1970s. It will guide the university as it implements the UB 2020 strategic plan to become a model 21st century university. As he takes on the leadership role as dean, Shibley will act in an advisory role as campus architect.

Shibley holds a master of architecture in urban design from the Catholic University of America, as well as a bachelor of science in psychology and bachelor of architecture from the University of Oregon.

He has received numerous awards for his professional and research work, including the UB President's Medal in recognition of extraordinary service to the university, and the James Haecker Distinguished Leadership Award for Architectural Research, one of the field's most prestigious achievements.

In nearly 30 years on the UB faculty, Shibley has remained engaged with the local and regional community. He has promoted sustainability and led efforts to improve the quality of life for a wide variety of people.

He has served as principal investigator on projects including the Peace Bridge Neighborhood Improvements project; the Buffalo Olmsted Park and Parkway System 20 Year Restoration Program; the Larkin District Master Plan; the Buffalo Waterfront Corridor Initiative to design and plan the waterfront transportation corridor; the Niagara Heritage Area Resource Study; and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Plan.

Shibley is author of numerous books and articles in refereed journals. He has traveled to more than 50 cities to deliver more than 250 lectures, presentations and keynote speeches since 1978.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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