The dean Graduate School of Design (GSD), Sarah M. Whiting announces her temporary step back. The news was delivered to the students and the faculty at GSD on Monday via email in the form of a letter penned down by Whiting.

Sarah Whiting(Photo Courtesy: Harvard University)

Whiting is facing a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has made the decision to step back to pursue treatment. Her temporary step back will come into gear from Thursday.

Whiting’s letter explaining her diagnosis and step back was published by Harvard Magazine. She spoke of her temporary leave from her leadership responsibilities and administrative duties to focus on her health.

Whiting’s career

Whiting became dean at GSD in April of 2019 and formally began playing the role of dean from July 1, 2019. She was also part of the GSD faculty as the Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture in her career.

Prior to this, she was the William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture at the Rice University School of Architecture. She also served as a dean at Rice University since 2010.

Sarah Whiting along with Ron Witte founded the firm, WW Architecture in the year 1999. She has been acting as an active co-founder at partner at the architectural firm since then.

Taking over

In Whiting’s absence, Rahul Mehrotra will be playing the role of a “Dean Designate”. Mehrotra is the Professor of Urban Design and Planning at GSD. He is also the incoming chair and the director of the master of architecture in the urban design degree program. He will represent Whiting while working with the senior leadership at the university.

Niall Kirkwood shall continue with his current title of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Kirkwood is the Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology at GSD. He shall handle the affairs of faculty searches, policies, reviews, benefits and promotions.


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