Dean of Architecture steps down

Rund Khayyat

Frederick “Fritz” Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture, is stepping down to accept a position as the dean of the School of Design at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

“I was very torn between two places that I love very much,” Steiner said. “I’ve been very involved with a lot of issues on campus and in the community, so I feel like I’ve done everything I can do here.” 

Steiner has served as dean since 2001 and has held the Henry M. Rockwall Chair in Architecture since 2004. Before coming to the University, he taught at multiple universities including the University of Pennsylvania and Washington State University.

During Steiner’s tenure as dean, the School of Architecture has consistently been ranked among the best in the nation. Steiner also opened the Center of Sustainable Design, established new degree programs in landscape architecture and interior design and served on the Campus Plan Advisory Committee and the Campus Master Plan Committee.

Michael Oden, associate dean for research and operations at the School of Architecture, said Steiner’s innovative mindset helped move the school forward on national and international scales.

“He did a number of things to make the college diverse and cutting edge,” Oden said. “He really changed the scale and scope of what we do. We will really miss him.”

In a statement announcing Steiner’s new appointment, President Gregory L. Fenves said Steiner’s work and leadership helped make the school one of the best in the nation.

“This is a big loss to the University,” Fenves said in the statement. “Fritz is a planner and urban designer whose work has benefited his fellow faculty members and students, and I know they will miss him.”

Steiner will begin his new position on July 1. The search for a new dean will begin in the upcoming weeks.