History of the School of Architecture
In 1973 the State University System completed A Study of Florida's Future Need for Architects that concluded that the state would need more than twice the number of professional architects the two schools then existing in Florida could produce. Since the Board of Regents (BOR) had no control over the private University of Miami and the program at the University of Florida was considered too large to expand further, a new school of architecture at one of the other eight universities was proposed.
At the same time, the 1974 version of Florida's Plan for Equalizing Educational Opportunity in Public Higher Education was completed. This document, along with the Federal Equalizing Educational Plan of 1974, called for increasing the number of black students in the eight state universities which were traditionally white schools and for increasing the number of non-black students at the traditionally black Florida A&M University. The establishment of a professional school that historically attracts very few other-than-white males provided a solution to both the desegregation of FAMU and the need to educate more architects to practice in the state. Consequently, the School of Architecture (SOA) at Florida A&M University (FAMU) was opened in September 1975 under the leadership of Dean Richard Chalmers from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The original plan for the School was to offer a four-plus-two program structure, providing a four-year pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a two-year professional Master of Architecture. The School was to maximize articulation with the pre-architecture curricula at designated community colleges. The development of the graduate program emphases was done with an effort not to duplicate options offered at the University of Florida. The options chosen were to reflect the emerging needs of the architecture profession and to provide an atmosphere of innovation in the new school.
The School's professional Master of Architecture program was accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in 1980. In 1986 the professional Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) program received its first accreditation. Similarly, the Master of Landscape Architecture program is fully accreditated by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB.)
In 1981, the Institute for Building Sciences was approved by the BOR, and a faculty member was appointed part-time to direct this umbrella organization for conducting sponsored research projects, community service, and continuing education. As more faculty became involved with sponsored projects, the need for a full-time director grew. In 1985, a search was conducted, and Thomas Martineau was hired as the first full-time IBS Director. Under his leadership, the Institute earned its first $1 million in research funded by federal, state, local, and private sources. In 1994, Thomas Pugh, a faculty member and major researcher, was appointed as Director. Under his leadership, the Institute has continued to grow and excel and has now completed nearly $5-million in externally-funded work.
In 1983 the Board of Regents approved the School's request to offer a non-professional Master of Science degree that allows concentration and special study for students who already have a professional degree or for those who do not seek one. At the same time, approval was given to offer the five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture degree, and the Master of Architecture option for students with prior degrees in other fields. Now with three distinct professional architecture degree programs, the School serves the needs of a broad range of students, using its resources more effectively while promoting both the professional and research interests of the graduate faculty.
In 1986 the eight-semester FAMU/USF (University of South Florida) Master of Architecture Cooperative Program was opened to students who have undergraduate degrees in other fields. This program has now received its own accreditation and has become independent from the FAMU School of Architecture. In the same year, the FAMU B.Arch. program received its first accreditation.
In 1988 Roy F. Knight was appointed Dean as the School looked toward the '90s and its 15th birthday. Both professional programs were re-accredited in 1990 and again in 1995 with full five-year terms of accreditation. Professor Knight served as Dean until 1996 when he resigned and Rodner B. Wright was appointed as Dean. Dean Wright came to the School from Mississippi State University where he had served as Associate Dean.
In 1992 the School applied for and received federal funding through Title III grants to enhance its previously unfunded student retention endeavors. Andrew Chin was hired as the Student Retention Coordinator, and new activities were initiated. In 1997 the second five-year cycle of Title III funding was renewed. Since our initial funding the School has enjoyed the Title III funding support including our current funding designed to enhance the Masters of Landscape Architecture Program.
In fall 1997, students were admitted to the new Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program, and an Interim Director was hired. After a national serach, Richard Rome as hired as Director of The Master of Landscape Architecture Program. Professor Rome led the program to its first accreditation in 2006. The additional program and the planned growth of the architecture program required that the physical space be adapted for the new uses and expanded. Consequently, construction on the renovation of existing space and the addition of new space began in July 1999 and was substantially complete in April 2002.
The first FAMU Architecture program received its accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in 1980, and the School's professional architecture programs have been continuously re-accredited ever since. The Master of Landscape Architecture program is no longer accepting applicants, pending completion of the University's reorganization effort. As part of that reorganization, on July 1, 2011 the School was organized into two Divisions: the Division of Architecture and the Division of Engineering Technology.
The administration, faculty, and staff are committed to meeting the professions' ever-changing challenges by consistently improving the quality of the School's programs, teaching, research, and public service as well as the recruitment and retention of high-quality students.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL
THE MISSION OF THE SCHOOL
ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND POLICIES
THE SOA LIBRARY