AMES, Iowa — Following an internal search, the Iowa State University College of Design has appointed Rob Whitehead, FAIA, to serve as its associate dean for academic programs and student success.

Whitehead, an associate professor of architecture, will begin his new appointment July 1.

In this role, he will support the college’s academic departments and programs, student services, career services and multicultural student programming; support the work of the college’s directors of graduate education; coordinate student scholarships; oversee accreditation processes; lead curriculum innovation and extracurricular activities and innovations; and support and facilitate building renovation and addition proposals.

“Professor Whitehead is a highly accomplished educator with an impressive record of curricular innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. He cares deeply about his students and their success, and continues to mentor and support them after graduation,” said Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of the College of Design.

“His experiences and expertise make him well qualified to help the college create even greater academic opportunities for students and new pathways to their success.”

Whitehead joined the Iowa State architecture faculty as a lecturer in 2007 and moved into a tenure-track position in 2012. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2018.

He has taught architectural design studios, design-build studios and structural technology courses for undergraduate and graduate students. From 2019-2021 he served as a Faculty Fellow for High Impact Practices for the ISU Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Among Whitehead’s teaching honors are the 2020 Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award from Iowa State; 2014 AIA Iowa Educator Award from the Iowa chapter of the American Institute of Architects; 2012-2013 ACSA Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; and 2011 Building Technology Educators’ Society (BTES) Teaching Award for Emerging Faculty. In 2015, DesignIntelligence named him one of the 30 Most Admired Educators nationwide.

Whitehead is the author of Structures by Design: Thinking, Making, Breaking (Routledge, 2019), which received a 2021 Textbook Excellence Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association and a 2021 BTES Book Award honorable mention. He is a co-author of Design-Tech: Building Science for Architects, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2014) with Jason Alread and Thomas Leslie. The third edition is forthcoming from Routledge in 2023.

Prior to his faculty position, Whitehead was a senior architect for nine years at Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture in Des Moines. He holds a bachelor of architecture from Iowa State and master of architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.


Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Dean, College of Design, 515-294-7427, lrico@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Director of Strategic Communications, College of Design, hsauer@iastate.edu