Former magazine editor is named architecture dean

Brett Martin

A former editor of Progressive Architecture and Building Renovation magazines will take over as dean of the University’s College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University officials announced Tuesday.
“Tom Fisher has very strong support for this position because of his vision, inclusive style, administrative skills and demonstrated leadership,” said C. Eugene Allen, provost of professional studies, in a prepared statement. “His work as an editor and on design juries at many universities provided him with the opportunity to write and lecture on a broad array of topics.”
Fisher, who stresses the importance of historical preservation of architecture in today’s society, was selected from a field of 38 candidates in a national search process that began last fall. He will assume the post July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.
Fisher received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. He has previously worked as a preservation officer and a historian and served as a historical architect with the Connecticut State Preservation Office.
Fisher’s appointment means great things for the architecture school, said interim dean Roger Clemence. “We are excited he is coming.”
Clemence said the architecture school has been in the top 10 percent of schools for the last 40 years because of dynamic leadership. Fisher, he said, will continue the tradition.
“There is tremendous enthusiasm across the board,” for Fisher’s appointment, Clemence said, adding that Fisher has the capacity for intellectual inquiry that is needed in architecture.
Fisher is a “spectacular choice,” said Ralph Rapson, who headed the architecture school from 1954 to 1985. “As editor of a national and international magazine, he’s on top of what’s happening in the architectural world. I like his broad vision.”
Fisher, who is not a practicing architect, will replace Harrison Frakker, who left in January to head the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley.
“I am delighted that a person with his background and qualifications has accepted this key position,” said Allen.