Messages to the Community

Parsons Executive Dean Joel Towers to Take on New Responsibilities in 2018/19

Dear members of the New School community,

We are writing to let you know about an important change that will be occurring at The New School following the spring semester.

After nearly a decade leading Parsons School of Design with great success, Executive Dean Joel Towers will complete his second term in June 2018. At the end of that term, Joel will be shifting out of the role of executive dean and taking on new responsibilities as a University Professor. His work will focus on sustainability, resilience, and healthy materials and will help advance The New School’s leadership in research and teaching about the development of policy and design-based solutions to climate change and the construction of healthy environments.

At a moment when design is more integrated, widely valued, and critical than ever, Joel has helped to bring Parsons to increased strength and prominence. It stands today among the top-ranked schools in the world. Joel’s vision and intellect have helped drive Parsons’ strategic growth and change and, with a stellar team, superb faculty, and outstanding students, Parsons is thriving. The Parsons community plays a vital, cutting-edge role in shaping both the present and the future of design theory, practice, pedagogy, and research, a significant and lasting effect of Joel’s stewardship.

In addition, as a member of The New School’s executive leadership team, Joel has been a collaborative and strategic thinker, passionate about design and its powerful capacity to shape education across the university. We are pleased that he will remain fully focused on furthering the university’s goals and continuing to integrate design thinking into the curriculum throughout this transition.

While there is never a perfect time for this kind of change, Parsons is in a very strong position, and we are moving ahead in a carefully considered way to ensure a well-planned transition. With the input of our faculty, staff, and students and counsel from the Parsons Board of Governors and the New School Board of Trustees, we are focused on the road ahead and look forward to ensuring that the excellent programs, projects, research, and reputation that have flourished under Joel’s leadership continue to grow even stronger.

We will continue to keep you updated.

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