Karen Hanna to Step Down as Dean of College of Environmental Design

Karen Hanna to Step Down as Dean of College of Environmental Design
Karen Hanna joined Cal Poly Pomona in 2003.

After five years of exceptional leadership, advancing the College of Environmental Design to national acclaim, Dean Karen Hanna has decided to step down and pursue educational opportunities at home and abroad.

“The past five years have been transformational for me,” said Hanna.  ”The college has grown in stature and size, and we have attracted some of the best faculty in the country.  Both faculty and students have received national and regional awards, and the work of the college has been recognized in many media venues.  Our professional emphasis on design and sustainability puts us in the spotlight of today's discourse.  I have felt privileged to lead the college during these exciting years.”

Hanna joined the university family in August 2003, after serving as professor and department head of landscape architecture and environmental planning at Utah State University.  Prior to her tenure at USU, she was department chair of landscape architecture at the University of Arkansas, where she taught for 10 years.  She is also a practicing landscape architect and maintains her registration in California.  

“Dean Hanna has had a profound impact on the college,” said Interim Provost Herman Lujan. “She is one of the hardest working advocates that I have ever seen in my 40-plus years of higher education. Her efforts in the community and with her faculty colleagues elevated our environmental design disciplines and built a myriad of new partnerships.”

Hanna currently serves as an officer of the California Architectural Foundation, a statewide philanthropic organization that awards scholarships and grants to accredited schools of architecture in California.  In 2007 she received the Educator of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  Previously Hanna served as the national VP for Education for the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and is Past President of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).  She is a Fellow of ASLA and of CELA.

The author of two books on the application of GIS in site design and landscape architecture, Hanna co-wrote GIS in Site Design with R. Brian Culpepper (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1998) and is the sole author of GIS for Landscape Architects (ESRI Press, Redlands, CA, 1999).  Both are widely used as texts.  Hanna also served as a Fulbright Scholar at Wageningen University in the Netherlands in 1998.

The College of Environmental Design serves approximately 1,800 undergraduate and graduate majors in 10 degree programs offered by four academic departments: Architecture, Art, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning, and the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.