Published December 8, 2022
Dear University Community:
I am writing to share that Dean Robert G. Shibley has informed me that he will step down as dean of the School of Architecture and Planning to return to his faculty role as SUNY Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning. An excellent dean and university leader, Dean Shibley has significantly advanced UB’s educational, research, and engagement missions, leaving the school well positioned to build on this success for years to come. A search for the next dean of the School of Architecture and Planning will commence in the spring semester; Dean Shibley has agreed to remain as dean until his successor is hired.
Appointed dean in 2011, Dean Shibley’s tenure has transformed the School of Architecture and Planning. Under Dean Shibley’s leadership, the school has nearly tripled its funded research, added new research units, and enhanced its reputation and impact, ranking in the top five among AAU peers in several key research indicators. In recognition of its global strength and impact, the school received invitations to exhibit during the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018 and 2021.
Under Dean Shibley’s leadership, the school added new academic programming in global health, preservation, and real estate development in addition to joint programming with several other schools. Dean Shibley has focused on providing students with unique, hands on learning experiences grounded in research and community engagement. Under his leadership, hundreds of students and faculty members designed and constructed GRoW Home, which placed second in the 2015 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, and is now a clean energy center on the North Campus.
Dean Shibley oversaw the comprehensive renovation of Hayes Hall, a major point of pride for the university and the school. The renovated building has won numerous design awards, achieved LEED Gold status, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. The design unites historic elements with modern functionality, providing state-of-the-art facilities and technologies for students, faculty and staff in the school.
Throughout his UB career, Dean Shibley has focused on deepening the school’s connection with the community. Under his leadership, the school has significantly impacted the region’s built environment and economy, including through its Regional Institute. Dean Shibley has built successful partnerships across UB, encouraging faculty to participate in cross-disciplinary and university-wide initiatives to enhance innovation and impact. Examples of this can be seen in faculty leadership of the Global Health Equity and SMART Communities of Excellence and the Community Health Equity Research Institute, and faculty participation in the RENEW Institute, to name just a few.
An outstanding university citizen, Dean Shibley has served in a wide variety of leadership and service roles, including chairing UB’s COVID Campus Planning Committee, which coordinated UB’s efforts to continue academic, research and academic support operations throughout the pandemic.
A fellow of both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), Dean Shibley has advanced the fields of architecture and planning for 50 years. A UB faculty member since 1982, his research and practice focuses on placemaking. He has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 100 book chapters, government publications and articles. Among his many awards and honors, in 2014 he received the AIA’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.
For more information, please see the UBNow story.
Colleagues, please join me in thanking Dean Shibley for his outstanding leadership and service and in wishing him much continued success as a distinguished member of UB’s faculty.
A. Scott Weber Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs