“A role model for aspiring practitioners and scholars,” Berke reappointed architecture dean

Deborah Berke.
Deborah Berke (Photo by Winnie Au)

Deborah Berke has been appointed to a second term as dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Yale President Peter Salovey announced. Her second five-year term will begin July 1. 

Dean Berke’s leadership reflects a deep awareness of the school’s eminent history and a strong vision of its future,” Salovey said. “I am grateful for her contributions to Yale and the school, and I am delighted that she has agreed to continue this vital role.”

In July 2016, Berke became the first woman to lead the School of Architecture. In her first term, she led efforts to increase financial aid by 60% and created a new undergraduate major in urban studies that bridges multiple disciplines. She recruited top-flight faculty members and supported the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture — a multi-field effort to develop a sustainable built environment.

Berke earned the esteem of the Yale community, Salovey said, referencing an outpouring of positive input he had received about Berke’s leadership.

Faculty, staff, and alumni described Dean Berke’s unwavering commitment to the school’s role as a leader in architectural scholarship, practice, and education,” Salovey said. “Her colleagues also praised her focus on collaborations with other schools at Yale and with institutions around the globe.”  

Before she was appointed dean, Berke served as an adjunct professor of architectural design at Yale since 1987. 

Her expertise ranges from preservation and adaptation of historic buildings to urban landscape and sustainability. In her professional practice she designs private residences, hotels, residential and commercial developments, and institutional art and music buildings, including the renovation and expansion project that created the Yale School of Art’s Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Hall. Her firm, Deborah Berke Partners, designed the home of NXTHVN, a not-for-profit arts and community incubator founded by artist Titus Kaphar in New Haven’s Dixwell neighborhood. 

Faculty and alumni praised Berke’s architectural practice, noting that she serves as a role model for aspiring practitioners and scholars alike, Salovey sad. 

She has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the role of architecture in solving longstanding and emerging challenges, in our local community and around the globe,” he said. 

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