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GSD Tenures Architecture Expert

Short Takes

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The Graduate School of Design (GSD) has lured a Rice University specialist in architecture and urban land use to a lifetime post.

Peter G. Rowe, who began teaching at the school this semester, has also become head of the school's urban design program.

"We see this as a big appointment," said GSD Dean Gerald M. McCue, adding the Rowe came highly recommended by colleagues. McCue said Rowe was the "number two person" in Rice's architecture program.

Rowe's appointment was the result of an extensive search for "new leadership" in the GSD, the dean said, adding that the professor was selected from a pool of a dozen nominees. He added that the search committee was looking for a scholar outside Harvard to fill the post.

The GSD currently has about 12 tenured professors and two teaching positions open. McCue says it is possible that other professors will be tenured to fill those slots this year.

A Combination of Attributes

Rowe was chosen over other candidates because of "a combination of attributes," including his expertise in land use, environmental planning, and urban design.

McCue added that Rowe's teaching abilities, research accomplishments, and administrative talents are also outstanding.

Rowe said he was not initially interested in the Harvard. "I'd just come back off sabbatical, and I was very preoccupied with Rice business. I really knew very little about the program at Harvard."

But, Rowe said, after "meeting the people here and seeing the possibilities," he changed his mind about the offer.

Rowe is currently teaching "Elements of Urban Design," an introductory studio course. He is also working individually with second-year students on their theses.

In the past, Rowe has lectured on approaches to problem-solving in architecture and design. At Rice, Rowe served as an a researcher for the Center of Urban Research and as a private consultant.

Born in New Zealand, Rowe spent the his childhood in Australia and went on to receive a B.A. at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded his M.A. in architecture at Rice and has spent his entire 13-year career there.

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