Renée Cheng AB ’85, MArch ’89 has been named dean of the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. Her term is set to begin on January 1, 2019, following approval by the UW Board of Regents. She currently serves as professor and associate dean of research at the University of Minnesota, where she developed the Master of Science in Architecture with a concentration in Research Practices (MS-RP) degree program.

“Professor Cheng recognizes that the building professions – from architecture to urban planning to construction management – are part research and part practice. Their work reflects our communities, serves them and becomes part of them,” said UW Provost Jerry Baldasty in a press release. “By continuing to advocate for a research-based approach to this work, and increasing the number and visibility of women and people of color, Professor Cheng will serve as a dynamic leader in the college and beyond.”

A registered architect, Cheng worked for Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners and Richard Meier and Partners before founding Cheng-Olson Design. She has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching, including ACSA/AIA awards for Practice & Leadership and Distinguished Professor this year. She has twice been named a top 25 most admired design educator in the United States by DesignIntelligence.

“The College of Built Environments is a unique collection of disciplines that together, have unparalleled access to, and impact on, the lives and well-being of each and every community around the globe,” Cheng said. “I am honored and excited to join the College of Built Environments and work with new and existing partners, in the greater Seattle area and elsewhere, to collectively make the greatest positive impact.”

Read the UW announcement.

Image courtesy of University of Washington.