ACSA Announces Robert Alexander González as 2021-2022 ACSA President
For Immediate Release: Washington D.C., July 1, 2021 – The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce Robert Alexander González as the organization’s 2021-2022 president. Professor Gonzalez is currently the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico and a registered architect in the state of Texas.
He was previously the Director of the Architecture Program at Texas Tech University, where he led the professional program, supervised all faculty on the El Paso campus, and managed undergraduate education, student recruiting, admissions, fundraising, strategic planning, and graduation. He was also the Director of the TTU El Paso Regional Site. González focused on increasing access to higher education, particularly through community colleges, and growing the school’s leadership to include more faculty of color.
“It’s an exciting time to step into the presidency, with access to such a large membership that is continually growing,” González said. “We’ve faced challenges learning how to teach architecture and architecture studio online, but have helped innovate and advance many global online initiatives. One of my goals is to continue facilitating that growth in opportunity and membership.”
González has served in ACSA leadership for several years already, as the second vice president in 2019 and vice president in 2020. His passion for creating access to education has already become evident during his time at UNM, where he launched the inaugural Architecture + Design Summer Academy for the summer of 2021. The program is structured similarly to the one he spearheaded in El Paso, which was incredibly successful and garnered national media attention. It not only creates a pipeline from high schools to architecture schools but also strengthens connections between community colleges and four-year institutions.
“Creating and strengthening partnerships can help get rid of the stigma and grow confidence that community colleges are really viable and are jewels in the rough,” González said. “I’m strategizing how association memberships can be better connected to community colleges and how the ACSA can facilitate and encourage those connections.”
González pointed out that community colleges are typically planted throughout neighborhoods, creating easier access to all socioeconomic groups. This greater access to educational opportunities and diverse faculty will also be a focus of his tenure with ACSA. He plays a major role and was a founding member of the recently announced Deans’ Equity and Inclusion Initiative, which aims to curate a community of early-career faculty from diverse backgrounds and experiences in leading national architecture and planning schools. The initiative focuses on expanding opportunities for faculty of color—something González is also concentrating on at the UNM SA+P.
The mission of the initiative is to encourage teaching and researching the built environment to advance socio-ecological and spatial justice, equity, and inclusion. González says having a faculty – especially deans, associate deans, and chairs – who mirror the cultural diversity of their students is essential to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.
“It is so exciting to see our students have access and impact, and to be part of an association that is helping make that happen,” he concluded.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education will also be the focus of the upcoming ACSA Annual Meeting, titled “Empower,” which González will be chairing in March 2022. He is currently in the process of organizing and coordinating the meeting with fellow deans, Monica Ponce de Leon from Princeton University and Milton Curry from the University of Southern California.
Amanda Gann, ACSA Creative Lead email@example.com
Rachel Whitt, UNM Communication Representative firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1912 by 10 charter members, ACSA is an international association of architecture schools preparing future architects, designers, and change agents. Our membership includes all of the accredited professional degree programs in the United States and Canada, as well as international schools and 2- and 4-year programs. Together ACSA schools represent some 7,000 faculty educating more than 40,000 students.
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