Katherine Ankerson, professor and head of the Department of Interior Architecture and Product Design at Kansas State University, has accepted appointment as dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture. The appointment, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, was announced May 23.
"Katherine Ankerson is a proven administrator, educator and scholar with a track record in elevating programs and encouraging excellence,” Chancellor-Elect Ronnie Green said. "She also has a strong vision that understands the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to prepare the next generation of building and landscape architects, interior designers, and community and regional planners. This combination positions her as a transformational leader for our college of architecture."
Ankerson, who was a professor and associate dean in the UNL architecture college from 1996 to 2011 before her tenure at Kansas State, will assume the dean's post July 1.
"I am honored to be named the dean of the College of Architecture at UNL," Ankerson said. "I look forward to returning to this great university and leading the College of Architecture into its next era. I am committed to the transformative power of planning and design in our lives and communities and join with our faculty, staff, students and alumni to continue building the college into national prominence."
The College of Architecture's programs in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and community and regional planning have a tradition of excellence in education, research and service. Its fall 2015 enrollment was 493 students.
"This is an exciting time at the college. Faculty and students are involved daily with work that inspires, with a focus on how architecture and design must confront real challenges in today's world," said Marjorie Kostelnik, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, who led the search committee for the position. "We are confident that the college will break important new ground under Katherine's leadership."
Ankerson is a tenured full professor and has concluded her fifth year as head of Kansas State's interior architecture and product design department. A strong proponent of design education, Ankerson said she believes in the potency of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary engagement, the value of design and making, and embracing new technologies in addition to strengthening traditional design tools.
Ankerson's philosophy is that design education must prepare global design citizens who take leadership to foster synergy, embrace successful collaboration and recognize interconnectedness, with an awareness of the responsibility of individual and collective actions in personal, social and environmental arenas.
She is an award-winning author, and as lead of the 20th Anniversary Nuckolls Lighting Grant, she worked with nine other educators in architecture, engineering and interior design representing four major universities to initiate and produce the award-winning web-based resource Lighting Across the [Design] Curriculum. Ankerson just completed a three-year term of elected presidential leadership with the North American organization Interior Design Educators Council. She is a CIDA site visitor and the education member of the Nuckolls Lighting Fund board of directors.
Ankerson also held academic positions at Radford University and Washington State University after spending many years as a practicing architect and designer. She received her bachelor of science in architecture and bachelor of architecture from Washington State. She also earned a master's degree in architecture from Washington State.
30 Writer: Steve Smith, University Communications