The Dean's Letter

A woman with dark hair wearing a blue shirt with arms folded.
August 25, 2021

Milestones and Trajectories, A Message from Dean J. Meejin Yoon

Dear AAP Community —

Welcome back, and welcome for the first time to our new faculty, staff, and students as you join our community. This year, our coming together has a renewed sense of meaning, responsibility, and optimism — we not only reconvene in our shared spaces but do so with a shared purpose and an expanded sense of who we are, what we do, and what we can do together at AAP. As an intellectual home, research hub, think tank, and do tank for the built environment, communities, and culture we bring ALL of our collective imagination, creative intelligence, and critical agency to advance a more resilient, sustainable, just, and thriving world.

We enter this exceptional 2021-22 academic year marking a number of significant milestones, beginnings, and firsts for the college. This year, we celebrate two anniversaries. Our department of architecture will celebrate 150 years since its founding in 1871; our department of art 100 years from its official recognition in 1921. City and regional planning was created soon after in 1935, followed by graduate programs across the departments in real estate, preservation, history, and design computation, among others. For over a century and a half, our college and community have evolved and expanded to meet the demands of their time. As we return to our work with both the urgency of now and the momentum of the past, we see our collective capacity grow to meet both the ever-present and evolving challenges of our time.

In the coming year, we will see leadership changes in each of our departments. Caroline O'Donnell has begun her appointment as chair of the architecture department, and Paul Ramírez Jonas has joined the college as chair of the Department of Art. Sophie Oldfield begins her appointment as chair of CRP at the beginning of next semester. I invite you to read Caroline's, Paul's, and Sophie's thoughts on practice, pedagogy, and scholarship. We also welcome a number of new AAP faculty, program leaders, and staff. Additionally, I am pleased to share that CRP Professor Neema Kudva has been appointed to Associate Dean for Faculty Development and will be partnering with departments and units across the college to advance strategic faculty searches, including the search for the new position of Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity at AAP.

This fall, we not only welcome our largest incoming class with 930 new students, but also the most diverse class in our history with 36% underrepresented minority, and 7% first-generation students. Furthermore, our AAP student body entering this year comes from 44 countries and a multitude of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. As a multi-cultural, multi-racial community, we understand difference as a core strength and continue to advance our collective action plan for building a just and equitable AAP. We will continue to share updates on our ongoing anti-racism efforts and other diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

At AAP, we are about acts of transformation. As we mark our sesquicentennial, we not only acknowledge important milestones but move forward with expanded offerings, courses, research, engagements, practices, and initiatives from Ithaca to New York City to Rome. Despite, or perhaps because of all the work we have yet to do, we come together this fall with inspiration, passion, and a renewed commitment to possibility and transformation today, and tomorrow.

With expanded optimism,

Meejin

J. Meejin Yoon
Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning

Contact

Contact Dean's Office

129 Sibley Dome
Phone: (607) 255-9110
aapdean@cornell.edu
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Previous Letters from the Dean

"Be Relentless"

June 3, 2021

Art Gensler

May 12, 2021
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