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KNOXVILLE — John McRae, dean of the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will step down at the end of the next academic year to return to full-time teaching.

McRae has served as dean since 2005. Since that time, he oversaw the establishment of UT’s landscape architecture graduate program, the first and only program of its kind in the state. He also led the college through a demanding reaccreditation process by the National Architecture Accreditation Board.

“John has led the College of Architecture and Design through several notable accomplishments during his five years as dean,” said Susan Martin, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “In addition to establishing the only landscape architecture graduate program in the state, John also has helped the college initiate a post-professional graduate degree in architecture, strengthen its outreach programs with area communities, and increase its offering of design-build projects for students.”

But after more than three decades in college administration, McRae is ready to return to teaching.

“I believe the time is right for transition, and I look forward to having time to rededicate myself to my research and teaching interests,” McRae said. “The college’s momentum is continuing to build, and I know the right person will be chosen to further strengthen the college’s emphasis.

“I also want to thank those who I’ve been able to work closely with over the years and who have supported our students and programs. As a professor, I’ll still be an active member of the college community and will be able to continue my relationship with area professionals and the college’s alumni.”

In 2008, McRae received the Architectural Research Centers Consortium James Haecker Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the growth of research culture in architecture and related fields.

Prior to serving as dean at UT Knoxville, McRae worked as senior director of grants and development at the American Institute of Architects. His many years of college administration include serving as the dean of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University for 14 years and on the faculty and in administrative positions at the University of Florida’s College of Architecture for 20 years.

Among his professional experience, McRae was vice president of education and training with RTKL Associates Inc., an international architecture, engineering and planning firm. He also served as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture from 1997 to 1998 and was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1995.

McRae received a master’s degree in architecture from Rice University in 1967 and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966.

A committee, chaired by College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean John Zomchick, has been formed to search for McRae’s successor. Other committee members include Brian Ambroziak, associate professor in architecture; Tracy Moir-McClean, associate professor in architecture; Scott Wall, director of the School of Architecture; David Matthews, head of the interior design program; Tricia Stuth, assistant professor in architecture; Bob French, lecturer in architecture; Thura Mack, professor in University Libraries; and Richard Kelso, associate professor in architecture. The committee will soon begin advertising for the position on various sites.


Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993, khintz@utk.edu)