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Jack Davis to step down as dean of College of Architecture and Urban Studies

September 7, 2016

Jack Davis
Jack Davis

A.J. (Jack) Davis will step down as dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech on June 30, 2017, at the conclusion of his second term as dean.

Davis will have led the college for 11 years. He was the college’s sixth dean since the college was established in 1964.

During his tenure as dean, the college has maintained top 10 national rankings in the majority of its programs. The college celebrated its 50-year anniversary with five publications focused on its successes during that period of time.

“I have been privileged to serve the college alongside extraordinary faculty and staff during a time of significant success,” said Davis. “As I step down, I know their leadership in high-quality teaching, research, and engagement will continue, and even exceed past successes.”

“Jack Davis has been a great leader for the college and a great citizen of Virginia Tech,” said Thanassis Rikakis, executive vice president and provost. “The college is the third-ranked college nationally in architecture, and Jack has coordinated a Beyond Boundaries vision for the future of the college. We congratulate Jack for all his accomplishments and thank him for his highly successful leadership of the college. We look forward to working with him on developing some new and important Virginia Tech projects that can benefit from his leadership and experience.”

Davis has nearly 40 years of teaching, research, and administration experience in design education. He received both his professional bachelor’s degree in architecture and master’s degree in environmental design from Virginia Tech.

Davis joined the faculty in 1984 as an associate professor. He had previously taught at the University of Florida and then later at the Boston Architectural College. He practiced in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the architectural firm of Cambridge Seven and Associates.

In 1993, Davis was on sabbatical to practice in Basel, Switzerland, for Suter and Suter, working in their international department, developing housing, university, and banking projects. In his practice he has been the principal designer on more than 30 large- and modest-scale projects and has won design excellence awards from the Virginia Society AIA as well as from and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the AIA and the Virginia Masonry Council.

Between 1989 and 2001 he was principal and co-principal investigator on more than $2.5 million in research grants. He is the architect of record for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Research and Demonstration Facility, a laboratory research center for programs of study in the college.

Davis also served his college as chair of the Professional Program in Architecture, associate dean for academic affairs, and interim dean from 2006 to 2007.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is the only college at Virginia Tech organized into schools. Begun under the leadership of then dean Paul Knox, Davis continued to expand the school structure into the four schools the college has today.

In addition, Davis decentralized the financial organization to encourage increased entrepreneurial activities and self-reliance by the schools. During his leadership, the college’s endowment doubled.

Davis is the Reynolds Metal Professor of Architecture and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He became a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional in August 2007. He was selected by DesignIntelligence as one of the nation’s Most Admired Educators of 2009 and 2014 and is a Design Futures Senior Fellow.

Davis is the founding president of the 19-university consortium of Architecture + Construction Alliance (A+CA) and an international board member and former vice president of the Conseil International du Bâtiment (CIB).

In 2014, Davis was president of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects for its 100-year anniversary. He organized and led the Virginia Accord Symposium focused on the next 100 years of Virginia’s built environment.

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will soon launch an international search for the next dean. Information on that process will be published in Virginia Tech News as it progresses.

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