Four finalists named in search for ISU design dean

AMES, Iowa -- Four finalists have been named in the search for the next dean of the College of Design at Iowa State University. They are:

  • Luis Rico-Gutierrez, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and David Lewis Director of the Remaking Cities Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.;
  • Kate Schwennsen, associate dean of Iowa State's College of Design;
  • David Edelman, director of the School of Planning, University of Cincinnati, Ohio; and
  • Christine Theodoropoulos, head of the architecture department, University of Oregon, Eugene.

The finalists will visit campus during the next few weeks. Each candidate will speak and answer questions at an open forum from 3:45 to 5 p.m. in Kocimski Auditorium, 101 Design. A reception will follow in the design atrium. A videotape of all forums will be available online after March 3. Forum dates are:

  • Feb. 16:Luis Rico-Gutierrez
  • Feb. 23: Kate Schwennsen
  • Feb. 25: David Edelman
  • March 2: Christine Theodoropoulos

In addition, candidates will meet informally with faculty, staff and students in the design building on the day following their open forums. The exact location and times for the informal sessions will be posted online along with candidates' interview schedules and full vitae at

Luis Rico-Gutierrez

Rico-Gutierrez has been associate dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh since 2001. In 2006, he also was named David Lewis Director of the university's Remaking Cities Institute, an urban design research center. From 2001-04, Rico-Gutierrez served as associate head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon, where he has been on the faculty since 1996. He was a professor in the School of Architecture at ITESM, Queretaro, Mexico, from 1993-96, and manager of the architecture department at Fundacion Rafael Leoz, Madrid, Spain, from 1991-93. Rico-Gutierrez chairs the innovation and new directions task force of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. He is professionally accredited in Mexico and Spain.

Rico-Gutierrez earned his bachelor's degree in architecture (1986) from ITESM, Mexico, and a graduate degree (1988) from Fundacion Rafael Leoz, Spain. He earned a master's degree in architecture (1997) from Carnegie Mellon.

Kate Schwennsen

Since 2001, Schwennsen has served as associate dean for academic programs at the College of Design at Iowa State, where she has been a member of the architecture faculty for 19 years. Within the architecture department, she was associate chair for research and extension from 1995-98, and associate chair for academic affairs from 1998-2001. In 2006, Schwennsen served as president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She was named a fellow of AIA in 2002. She is a member of the International Union of Architects' education commission. A licensed architect in Iowa, Schwennsen was with Bloodgood Architects and Planners, Des Moines, from 1989-91, and with Engelbrecht and Griffin Architects PC, Des Moines, from 1981-89.

Schwennsen earned her bachelor's degree in architecture (1978) and her master of architecture degree (1980) both from Iowa State.

David Edelman

Since 1998, Edelman has been a professor of planning and director of the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati. From 1993-98, he was head of urban environmental management at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 1992, he was principal planner for Werkstatt fur Architektur und Planung AG, Zurich, Switzerland. As a representative of the Swiss government, Edelman was an associate professor of energy planning and policy at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, from 1990-92. From 1984-92, he served as chief planner and economist at Motor-Columbus Consulting Engineers Inc./Holinger Ltd., Baden, Switzerland. Between 1978 and 1983, Edelman was a consultant for several organizations, including the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome; Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines; and the Organization of American States, Washington, D.C. He holds professional licenses in the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Europe.

Edelman earned his bachelor's degree in history (1968) from the University of Rochester, N.Y. He earned his master's of regional planning (1974) and his doctoral degree in policy planning and regional analysis (1978) from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Christine Theodoropoulos

Since 2003, Theodoropoulos has served as associate professor and head of the architecture department in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon. She joined the Oregon faculty in 1997, having previously been a faculty member at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, for seven years. From 1992-97, Theodoropoulos was director of the Neutra VDL Research House, Los Angeles. Previously, she held adjunct faculty positions at Southern California Institute of Architecture, Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design, University of California, and the University of Southern California (all in Los Angeles). She was an associate structural engineer with Ralph M. Parsons Company in Pasadena from 1979-82. Theodoropoulos is a licensed architect and registered professional civil engineer in California.

Theodoropoulos received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering (1979) from Princeton University, New Jersey, and a master of architecture degree (1985) from Yale University, New Haven, Conn.