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Meeting with Dean Kleinman of Architecture, Art & Planning

09/28/2010

The College of Architecture, Art & Planning has been undergoing a series of changes that are improving the college in many ways. Dean Kleinman and I discussed a number of topics, including how the college is addressing mental health, advising, and progress on the design school concept.

The topic of most concern to me was how the college is addressing the issue of mental health. In addition to the Engineers and those taking physical sciences, Architects are listed as high priority. The College of Engineering has been challenged by the administration to develop better ways to address mental health and the great amount of stress that the students must endure. The question that was brought up at the mental health forum in early September sought to address why the University had not challenged other colleges to do the same. The College of Engineering has developed a program called Notice and Respond: Friend to Friend. The program has incorporated the issue of mental health and coping with stress into the curriculum in addition to reforming how advising is done within the college. AA&P has not adopted any formal programs and there are no plans for any, as of now. The issue Dean Kleinman has is how to approach and address the issue without glamorizing it. His major concern is that if the college starts overtly doing things to address the issue, students will feel inclined to use those services for the sake of getting the attention they crave; misusing the system. However, the Dean did say that the faculty and staff have been given training about noticing different signs of distress. In addition, the Dean said he has addressed the issue of advising and is very close to making a grand announcement that students will probably be very receptive to. We will look forward to that in the coming weeks.

Another highly discussed issue is the question of what is going to happen to the Fine Arts Library space in Sibley once the library moves to Rand Hall and Milstein Hall is complete. The short answer that the Dean happily gave was simply, “I don’t know.” All three departments have been chiming in on the discussion, so we are definitely not short on ideas. However, this issue is not of immediate concern to the Dean. He said that it is a “sexy space” and many plans have been thrown around, but they are not even close to even thinking about this right now. The transition of the library is scheduled for completion in 3 years, so there is plenty of time to brainstorm. You can look at the progress of Milstein Hall at the following website: http://aap.cornell.edu/milstein/

Last year, the concept of changing the college into a school of design was introduced and not widely received by students. The Dean, again, took the time to clarify that he never intended to totally change the college and do away with any department. He said his three goals for now are to increase programming with the Digital Media department, create a more influential relationship with the Johnson Museum, and foster a better relationship with Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture & Life Science. The Dean said that the first two goals have nearly been reached with DM moving forward on a number of programs and the college holding exhibits in the Johnson Museum. However, LA is not happening at this point, but his hopes are not dashed. In addition, the college is hiring two professors in the City & Regional Planning department as well as two in the Architecture department.

Additionally, Dean Kleinman expressed how much he enjoyed having his council last year and how much he got from the experience. The Dean’s Student Council  will be back in session soon.

Finally, the Brazilian Cities Program scheduled for the summer is tentative until we get more student participation. Interest has been expressed by students from all departments, but we need enough interest in order for the program to be self-funded. If you are interested, you can contact Professor Abdulrazak Karriem (ak11) and visit the website: http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/latinamerica/academics/brazil.asp.

If you have any questions, please email me (ujs3)

Ulysses Smith

Architecture, Art & Planning Representative

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