Board Approves Integrated Education Model for College of Art and Architecture

Thursday, April 22 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho State Board of Education / University of Idaho Board of Regents today approved a request from the university's College of Art and Architecture to move to an integrated education delivery model.

Under the new format, the college will have a single-unit management structure with a common studio culture, instead of the traditional model with multiple departments. The new configuration will create greater synergy between faculty members and students that mirrors the evolving profession that centers on integrated disciplines.

"This approach allows us more flexibility in the integration of classes, teaching assignments and work with other colleges and departments within the university," said Mark Hoversten, dean of the College of Art and Architecture. "For example, an architecture course may benefit from the perspective and expertise of civil engineers and landscape architects, designers may work together with students and faculty in business and marketing, and virtual technology and design studios aid in the visualization of difficult scientific topics."

The reconfiguration will not impact existing degree programs, all of which are accredited.

Hoversten said the integrated curriculum positions the College of Art and Architecture to continue as a leading educational model for the industry.

"This educational delivery format provides a competitive edge for our students," he said. "They are entering a radically changed world, where projects are integrated from the beginning. We are providing students with hands-on educational opportunities that encourage the cross-disciplinary work they'll encounter in professional work."

Examples include work in communities around Idaho, like Cascade and Priest River, where students have created participatory and grounded visions for the communities. They've also provided planning and design concepts that involve green infrastructure, community wellness, civic architecture and affordable housing. The student work is leading to more opportunities to address increased social diversity and local economic development.

"By moving toward a more integrated design approach, the college will be better positioned to prepare students for successful careers, effectively responding to a rapidly changing marketplace," said Ron Walters, principal of NBBJ in Seattle, Wash., and chair of the college's advisory council. "Doing so at this time clearly positions the University of Idaho as a leader among academic institutions."

In addition to the benefits for students, the reconfiguration showcases how the university is responding to the need to find efficiencies in management. "We're finding ways to be more efficient with the time and money we have," said Hoversten.

For more information about the College of Art and Architecture reconfiguration, as well as examples of cross-discipline work, visit
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit