Rice without Sarah Whiting


Thoughts on the trajectory of the school without her? Since it's such a tiny school, I would expect this to have a huge impact, especially since it means Ron Witte is probably leaving too. 

It seems a little sleazy to me that they waited to announce this until two days after grad students committed to the program. I know it was discussed at Open House, but it was impossible to see this coming otherwise (I didn't make it to Open House but thankfully got to talk to some who did).

Would you go into a 3.5 year M.Arch having no idea who is going to be leading the program (or even when they will find someone to take over)?

Apr 18, 19 9:26 am

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My specific reasons for asking: I had been planning to decline all my offers and reapply in a year (I have a very good job and can save money while refining my portfolio). At the very last second Rice increased my offer to full-tuition, so I accepted even though it hadn't been a top choice. I am perfectly comfortable going back to my plan of waiting a year, but I wanted to see what you all think of how big a deal this is.

Apr 18, 19 9:28 am  · 

Did you have plans for special study directly with Whiting?  Otherwise, not a big deal at all.  When I was in school, 3 deans came and went.  Life largely continued as usual. 

You are being given a free ride at a top school. Take it.


Yeah I'd take it as well. There are others besides Sarah. I did enjoy her studio when I was in graduate school, but I never based my decision to attend the school because of her.

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The average tenure for an architecture school dean is about 6 years (and a few last decades, and a few last less than a year), and a search averages about a year. So wherever you go, your chances of being affected by at least one such transition at some point in the course of your degree program are high. Yes it probably means there will be some turmoil - both during a search, which could drag on into your 2nd year, and during someone new's adjustments to things.  Personally I wouldn't base a decision on a dean search - I lived through 3 of them during my undergrad+grad years and it really had little to no permanent impact on anything for me - but if that feels like a deal-breaker to you then take a wait-and-see approach and take the year to work.

Apr 18, 19 1:41 pm  · 

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