College of Design associate dean leaves Iowa State

Abigail Barefoot

Kate Schwennsen is leaving her position as the associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Design.

Schwennsen has been the associate dean for nine years, and will be leaving her position to become the chairwoman of the Clemson University School of Architecture in August. She has served as associate dean for academic programs since 2001.

Schwennsen oversaw student recruitment; retention and advising activities; faculty development programs to enhance teaching and learning; the Core Design Program; international and multicultural programs; career services; and learning communities.

She received her bachelor’s degree at Iowa State in 1978 with distinction, and in 1980 she earned her masters in architecture. Schwennsen has taught architecture at Iowa State since 1990 and was promoted to professor in 2008.

Along with her long history with Iowa State, Schwennsen has earned numerous awards in her career.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Service by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards in 2002 and the Medal of Honor by AIA Iowa in 2003.

In 2006, Schwennsen served as the American Institute of Architects 82nd President. She was the second woman, second Iowan and second educator to serve as the elected leader of the then 149-year-old, 80,000 member organization.

Schwennsen is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, an Honorary Fellow of the Korean Institute of Architects and an Honorary Member of the Japan Institute of Architects, Federacion de Arqitectos de la Republica Mexicana, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

Her research interests include “issues confronting contemporary architectural practice and education, with special focus on issues of diversity, sustainability, and leadership,” according to the College of Design website.

While the new associate dean has been picked, Iowa State is withholding the name until all the paper work is finished.

Heather Sauer, communications specialist, said, “It’s going to happen, we just have to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s.”

The new associate dean will begin May 17.

Schwennsen goodbye reception will be from 2 – 4 p.m. Wednesday at the east end of Lightfoot Forum, College of Design.