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After a decade of leading the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design, Scott Poole, FAIA, has announced his intent to step down as dean and return to teaching in June 2021.

Dean Scott Poole
Dean Scott Poole

Poole’s 35-year career of teaching, professional practice, service, and leadership includes many accomplishments and accolades. In 2016, he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and in 2012 and 2014, he was included by DesignIntelligence on their list of America’s 25 Most Admired Educators. Among his many teaching and service awards, he received the Presidential Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects Tennessee in 2019.

As an academic leader, Poole developed innovative strategies to advance meaningful collaborations between design education and practice, set the context for multiple nationally and internationally recognized experiential learning projects, hired and mentored award-winning educators, and engaged the collective capabilities of faculty to create inspiring environments for design education.

Poole led the development of a vibrant creative culture in the college by attracting top talent, establishing 21st-century facilities for design and fabrication, and engaging formidable partners in meaningful collaborations:

  • Working with prominent alumni, the college raised more than $4 million for scholarships and professorships, allowing the college to attract exceptional students and retain outstanding teachers.
  • Exciting new territories of opportunity were enabled by state-of-the-art improvements in the college’s main facility, the Art and Architecture Building, and the inauguration of a new facility for advanced fabrication––the Fab Lab—in downtown Knoxville.
  • With partners Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the college created AMIE, an internationally acclaimed 3D-printed building that autonomously transfers energy between a vehicle and a home.
  • With TVA, the National Park Service, and other prominent partners and communities throughout the region, the college established the Tennessee RiverLine, a multigenerational project that will have a direct and lasting impact on the people and places served by UT as a land-grant institution.

With Poole’s leadership the student population in the college has nearly doubled, and the academic profile of its students is among the highest in the university. Faculty and students annually earn multiple national awards, and faculty research, engagement, and diversity are producing important results.

Provost John Zomchick reiterated Poole’s influence and success at UT: “Scott has transformed the College of Architecture and Design during his tenure as dean through his consistent focus on building excellence and expanding the role of design within the university. During his tenure, the college became a destination for high-achieving students from within and outside our state while acquiring a reputation of a top school for architecture and design.”

Poole is a first-generation college graduate, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Temple University followed by a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. He was named a Fulbright Scholar to Finland for 1983–84.

Poole plans to return to teaching and to focus on writing and research.

A search committee will be formed soon followed by a national search for a new dean.


Amanda F. Johnson (865-974-6401,