Embattled University of Utah architecture dean resigns

brenda-scheerThe embattled dean of the University of Utah’s architecture school resigned Thursday.

“I am very proud of the tremendous record of progress made in the college during my 11-year tenure,” said Brenda Scheer, who will step down on Dec. 31, in a statement.

Scheer was widely blamed for what was seen as the forced resignation of popular architecture chairman Prescott Muir in late February. After students and faculty called for an investigation of his departure, Scheer apologized, and Muir agreed to stay on.

“I regret that I acted hastily, without full information and without full consideration of [those] views …” Scheer said in a statement earlier this month, though she maintained Muir’s resignation wasn’t forced. “I am sure that there would have been a far different outcome had I been more inclusive.”

On Thursday afternoon, the U. announced Scheer will take a yearlong sabbatical to write a book, then return to the college as a full-time professor.

“In the next few months I have the goal of moving our proposed building addition forward, instituting new procedures for assessment of programs and student learning … as well as facilitating a smooth transition to a new dean,” she said in her statement.

U. officials didn’t immediately name a replacement or detail a process for finding a new dean.

“I want to thank Brenda for her leadership and commitment to sustainability and encouraging student engagement with important issues in the community,” said President David Pershing in a statement, calling the College of Architecture and Planning a “model” for “student success efforts.”

Graduate student Jane Collette said she was glad to see a change in leadership.

“I’m happy the administration took the problem so seriously and acted quickly to solve it,” she said. “I think the problems were serious enough that this was the inevitable result.”

Source: Salt Lake Tribune

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