Deborah Berke, next dean of the Yale School of Architecture

September 30, 2015

Deborah Berke, architect and founder of the New York-based design firm Deborah Berke Partners, will be the next dean of the Yale School of Architecture. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2016. As a practicing architect and a long-time faculty member in the School of Architecture, Professor Berke is ideally positioned to lead it toward a successful future as it begins its second century,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “For more than 30 years, she has dedicated her career — in equal measures — to education and practice. She has taught architectural design using disciplinary approaches both integral to and less commonly associated with the world of architecture. This perspective, in her own words, helps students to understand they are part of a larger cultural conversation.”

See here for the official press release from YaleNews.

 

Below is the official announcement from President Peter Salovey:

To the Yale Community,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Deborah Berke as dean of the Yale School of Architecture, effective July 1, 2016, pending the approval of the Yale Corporation at its next meeting. As a practicing architect and a long-time faculty member in the school, she is ideally positioned to lead it toward a successful future as it begins its second century.

The founder of Deborah Berke Partners in New York, Professor Berke is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED accredited professional. For more than thirty years, she has dedicated her career—in equal measures—to education and practice. Since 1987, she has taught architectural design at Yale, using disciplinary approaches both integral to and less commonly associated with the world of architecture. This perspective, in her own words, helps students to “understand they are part of a larger cultural conversation.” She has held previous faculty appointments at the University of Maryland, University of Miami, and Rhode Island School of Design, and as the inaugural Berkeley-Rupp Professor at the University of California-Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

Professor Berke’s expertise ranges from preservation and adaptation of historic buildings to urban landscape and sustainability. In her professional practice, Deborah Berke Partners, she designs private residences, hotels, residential and commercial developments, and institutional art and music buildings—including the renovation and expansion project that created the Yale School of Art’s Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Hall. The sixty-person firm has three partners and eight principals, and Professor Berke will maintain her active role in the creative direction of the practice. Her firm is—like Yale—deeply committed to diversity: it employs men and women in equal numbers, and recruits actively from a diverse range of ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Professor Berke earned her bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of architecture degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design—which in 2005 awarded her an honorary doctorate in fine arts. She pursued an honors thesis at the Architectural Association in London and holds a master of urban planning, in urban design, from the City University of New York.

I have been pleased to observe Professor Berke’s interdisciplinary and collaborative approach. During the search process, she spoke compellingly of the benefits derived from developing partnerships between the School of Architecture and other parts of the university—and by informing architectural pedagogy and practice with perspective from outside fields. I often cite as one of Yale’s great advantages that it is at once vast in scope and modest in scale—so that each school can serve at once as a distinct community and as an integral piece of a larger, more unified community. As the mother of a recent Yale College graduate, and given her already close knowledge of and contributions to the university, Professor Berke will—I am confident—be an excellent champion of this philosophy.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the search committee—Keller Easterling, who served as chair; Michelle Addington, Steven Harris, John Jacobson, and Bimal Mendis; and staff liaisons Emily Bakemeier and Martha Highsmith—for their thoughtful work. And I wish, in particular, to reiterate my gratitude to Dean Robert A.M. Stern for his outstanding tenure as dean. His leadership has raised the school to new heights, and we look forward, as a community, to recognizing and celebrating his legacy on our campus in the year ahead.

Please join me in extending congratulations and best wishes to Deborah Berke, our next dean of the School of Architecture.

Sincerely,

Peter Salovey
President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology