Radcliffe Landscape Program Will Move to Arboretum

Responsibility for Radcliffe’s renowned Landscape Design and Landscape Design History Program will move to the University’s Arnold Arboretum this summer, the Institute announced yesterday.

On July 1, 2002, administrative and financial aspects of the program will be transferred to the Arboretum.

Program content and offerings will remain the same, according to an agreement signed in November between the Radcliffe Institute and the Arnold Arboretum.

Along with the Radcliffe Publishing Course, which moved to Columbia last fall, the landscape design program was one of Radcliffe’s most famous offerings.

“We’re looking at evolution, not revolution,” Arnold Arboretum Director Robert E. Cook said yesterday. “It’s a very successful model we want to hang on to.”

The decision to move the landscape program comes as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study attempts to centralize its programs.

In a letter addressed to faculty, students and graduates of the landscape program yesterday, Radcliffe Institute Dean Drew Gilpin Faust wrote that the landscape programs were “not a good fit with the new mission” of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, but stressed that “it is an excellent program that should continue and thrive.”

The landscape program is one of three remaining Radcliffe Seminar programs at the Institute.

More than 30 faculty teach in the landscape programs, and enrollment figures for this academic year show 570 students enrolled in 41 classes.

Radcliffe Institute Executive Dean Louise M. Richardson, who negotiated the transfer deal with Cook, said Radcliffe is continuing to evaluate the remaining educational programs.

“We will keep our programs here until we find a good and suitable home for them,” she said.

When looking for a new home for the landscape programs, Richardson said, a Boston-area location was paramount.

“The program is as good as it is because it has a terrific faculty,” she said. “We wanted to keep the program intact.”

She also pointed to the leadership strength of Program Director John Furlong, who will continue to head the program as an employee of the Arboretum.

Cook said he was initially approached last spring by Furlong about the prospect of moving the landscape programs to the Arboretum. In response, he said, the Arboretum sent a proposal to the Institute.

Though “several other potential locations” were considered, Richardson said that the Arboretum was “by far the best option.”