University of Arizona Reverses Decision to Close Landscape Architecture Program

TUCSON, AZ, April 10, 2003—The President and Provost of the University of Arizona have informed the Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture that their proposal to close the School of Landscape Architecture has been reversed. The original proposal was presented in mid-January and was undergoing a public comment period before being presented to the Arizona Board of Regents in June.

In a memo, the administration cited the arguments to retain the School of Landscape Architecture as "persuasive." They noted the large amount of correspondence they had received from the public and professional communities, as well as from former, current and prospective students.

The Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) led opposition to the closing, providing University leaders with data indicating that the demand for landscape architects will soon outpace the number of graduates being produced to enter the profession. They also communicated news about the closing to alumni, prospective students, Arizona public officials, and professional colleagues around the nation and organized a letter-writing campaign.

"There is a very high demand for graduates of this program, who understand our regional environmental and growth issues," said Dean Chambers, ASLA, president of the Arizona chapter of ASLA and an associate with EDAW, one of the largest landscape architecture firms in the world. "The UA graduate program is meeting a real need in our state and region."

“Arizona is struggling to balance development and population growth with environmental concerns—issues at the very core of what landscape architects do,” said Paul F. Morris, FASLA, national president of ASLA and the lead urban designer with Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Inc. “We are delighted the University’s leadership has recognized the value of this program and we commend them for listening and for reacting so quickly.”

The memo also indicates that the School of Planning, which was slated for closure as well in the January proposal, will now be transferred to the College of Public Health.

Founded in 1899, the ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 13,500 members nationwide. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship.


Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371