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KNOXVILLE — The former dean of the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design will return to the classroom next semester while also becoming a part-time advisor to UT’s president.

Effective Dec. 1, 2003, Marleen Kay Davis will become Special Advisor to the President for Capital Projects and Community Design.

Davis, who left the deanship earlier this year, will advise Dr. Joseph E. Johnson on issues related to building projects throughout the UT system, serve as liaison between UT faculty and community design groups across the state, and teach architecture classes.

She will divide her time between the president’s office and the College of Architecture and Design.

Johnson said that he and Dr. Loren W. Crabtree, chancellor of the Knoxville campus, believed Davis brought unique experience and capabilities to the new assignment.

He cited Davis’ work as co-chair of the Downtown Urban Design Task Force for Nine Counties One Vision in Knoxville as well as the long-standing working of the Chattanooga Urban Design Center and the newer Nashville Civic Design Center.

“Marleen really excelled at making the design expertise of UT faculty available locally as well as in communities beyond Knoxville,” Johnson said.

“Her work with community design issues should benefit the university in its capital projects area while also bringing ‘real world’ experiences into the classroom for the students she instructs.”

Davis chaired the Campus Planning Advisory Committee that called for a more pedestrian friendly campus in the UT Knoxville master plan. She also has been active in many local and national professional organizations.

“Decisions regarding architecture tend to be permanent and virtually irreversible once built, so it is important that the design related to community development and UT capital projects have a positive impact on the campus, the community, and the quality of life,” Davis said.

“I look forward to working closely with the UT president’s office and focusing my energy and abilities on these and related issues.”

Crabtree said Davis also would continue to be a valuable asset to the college as a teacher and educator.

“Marleen’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in architectural design, teaching, and community outreach will serve the university and the state well in her new role,” Crabtree said.