The College of Architecture announces a leadership transition in the Architecture program; after five years in the role, Program Director Jeffrey L. Day is returning to be a full-time faculty member at the end of this semester. As a faculty member, Day will once again focus more time on his creative scholarship activity than is possible in his current role.
Starting May 15th, Architecture Professor Sharon Kuska will assume the position of interim program director with Day playing an active role in the transition process.
As the new interim program director Kuska brings with her decades of academic expertise and leadership. She has been teaching with the Architecture program since 1986 in the areas of structures in architecture, women in design, sustainability and architectural design. She has served as an associate dean for the college as well as leading various college and university initiatives involving student success and sustainability in architecture and communities.
Renown as a scholar in sustainability, Kuska has presented at numerous conferences, workshops and summits during her university tenure. In fact, Kuska co-authored the book “Sustainometrics: Measuring Sustainability” with Dean Emeritus W. Cecil Steward that presents a method of assessment and planning to define progress toward sustainability goals.
Kuska is widely known in the professional community and has held several distinguished service positions including president of the Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers; membership and leadership on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) ARE Subcommittee, Structures Subdivision; board member for the Design Futures Council Executive Board; and current vice president of the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities.
Kuska’s contributions to her field have been recognized nationally as well with the distinguished DesignIntelligence 25 Most Admired Design Educators of 2016 award. According to DesignIntelligence, Kuska is "A leading voice in the field of sustainability and action models on the campus of the University of Nebraska; she brings an engineer's talent and analysis to design forms and mentors students focused on achievement."
As the new interim director, Kuska looks forward to breaking new ground and leading the program into the next era.
“This is a prime opportunity to promote and enhance the transformative learning culture present in the Architecture program here at UNL,” Kuska said. “As a faculty, we are composed of unique experts who come together to offer a broad and expansive architectural education. A primary challenge is to encourage and motivate both the faculty and the students in our program to become even more engaged, inclusive and responsible in their leadership and design pursuits - cultivate the curiosity and ambition for ultimate success.”
“Sharon has served the Architecture program tirelessly in many ways over the years,” commented College of Architecture Dean Katherine Ankerson. “I join the faculty with full confidence in her leadership of the Architecture program over the next year as interim program director.”
Day has led the Architecture program for five years and during his tenure the program has seen substantial growth. Working collaboratively with faculty and staff, Day facilitated the development of a new minor in architectural studies, increased enrollment by 23 percent in four years and achieved a perfect National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) visitation report with an eight-year re-accreditation.
Under his leadership, the Architecture program pursued a complete revision and restructuring of the BSD-Architecture and Master of Architecture curricula; the reorientation of the Master of Architecture studios to “Design Research Studios” with long-term, cumulative agendas; and the expansion of the 3-year Master of Architecture class with a new first year core studio. Day was an integral part of a team that created and implemented the common first year, d.ONE program for the College of Architecture.
Day personally led the creation of a brand identity for the college and the creation of a new college website.
“Jeff has served the program and college exceptionally well over the past five years in the position of program director and for many years prior as a faculty member. He has an incredible history of achieving distinction for his creative scholarship. We have been fortunate for his leadership and the program has a very positive trajectory because of his service,” commented Ankerson. “I have personally appreciated Jeff’s support during the initial months of my return to UNL and have great respect for the aspirations he has set for the Architecture program.”