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Faculty Focus

Adrian Parr

Dean College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs

Adrian Parr

When UTA began looking for a new dean for the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs, the search committee sought a leader who could push the boundaries of architecture and urban planning. They found that in Adrian Parr, previously a political science professor with a joint appointment in architecture and interior design at the University of Cincinnati. She's also the holder of the UNESCO Chair on Water Access and Sustainability, director of the Taft Research Center, and a distinguished fellow of the Global Center for Advanced Studies. Joining Dr. Parr will be her husband, Michael Zaretsky, who will serve as associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and director of the Architectural Engineering program.

What past accomplishment makes you proudest?

Producing The Intimate Realities of Water documentary. The film humanizes water and sanitation data by following the everyday lives of four women living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The project was the result of finding a format that would enable the women to represent themselves on their own terms. It is important to me to be alert to the power dynamics that come into play with the privileged position I occupy as a white, Western, professional woman when working with disadvantaged populations, such as the women in the film, and more importantly, to rectify, as much as I can, the power imbalance this creates.

What are you excited about right now?

I am thrilled to serve the faculty and students of CAPPA and to join the UTA community. The college has a wonderfully dynamic range of research interests and creative talent. I am especially excited to spotlight the strengths of CAPPA across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and on the national and international stages. The grand challenges facing communities across the world may be complex in nature, but they also require simple and elegant solutions that maximize impact with minimal resources. CAPPA's design, planning, and policy disciplines will make important contributions in addressing the world's most pressing problems because they all, in their respective ways, tend to broach a problem from a variety of angles with a future-oriented and innovative outlook.

What are you most looking forward to?

Seizing this opportunity to join and lead the CAPPA community to advance the public good.

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