Dean of GSFA: MIT's Dr. Gary Hack

President Judith Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow will take to the Trustees on June 21 the selection of Dr. Gary Hack, professor of urban design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as dean of the Graduate School of Fine Arts.

Dr. Hack, who is also consulting principal in the Cambridge (MA) firm of Carr, Lynch, Hack and Sandelli, is scheduled to take office July 1. He is a world figure in urban design who combines research and teaching with projects as diverse as New York's West Side Highway and Development Plan (Westway) and master planning for Tokyo, Taipei and Bangkok.

"We believe Gary will prove to be an exceptionally articulate advocate for the school and for the disciplines and professions it represents," the President and Provost said in a joint memorandum to GSFA faculty and staff. "He has both bachelors and masters degrees in architecture as well as masters and Ph.D. degrees in Urban Planning and Design and currently holds joint appointments in the Departments of Architecture and Urban Studies and Planning."

Most important, they said, "Gary is well grounded in both the world of practice and academia. Considered by many to be among the foremost urban designers in the world, he is also a gifted teacher and a reflective practitioner who is continually thinking about how theory informs practice and vice versa."

Dr. Hack received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba in 1964, his two masters from the University of Illinois in 1966 and 1967, and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1976. In a career that interleaved teaching posts with professional ones, he taught at Illinois and at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, served as assistant professor at MIT in 1971-75, and returned there as associate professor in 1978 after serving as Director General of the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs in Ottawa. He headed MIT's Urban Studies and Planning department in 1982-86.

His research has produced two books--the 1984 Site Planning (with Kevin Lynch, 1984), now in its third edition, and an earlier Lessons from Local Experience (with Robert Eury, 1983), based on studies of urban design practices in 15 U.S. cities.

He has been the Nell-Norris Fellow in architecture at the University of Melbourne, visiting professor of Tsinghua University in Beijing, and visiting lecturer at some thirty institutions here and abroad. His design projects circle the globe, and he is presently advisor to Saudi Arabia's Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and to Bangkok's Governor of Municipal Administration.

"Gary Hack is exactly the person the school and we were looking for," said Provost Stanley Chod-orow said following the announcement. "We all said that we wanted to appoint a dean who was a first-class academic with administrative experience, a significant professional with real stature in his field, and a person who could give intellectual leadership to the school's faculty and students.

"Gary meets all of those criteria. To say that we look forward to working with him is an understatement."


Volume 42 Number 34
June 18, 1996

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