Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- July 2, 2003

Architect, 'Smart Growth' Expert Named Dean of College of Architecture and Environmental Design

An architect who for the last two years has been helping lead California's efforts in affordable housing, sustainable development and land-use reform has been named the new dean of Cal Poly's College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

R. Thomas Jones, executive director since March 2001 of the California Futures Network and a nationally recognized expert on "smart growth," was named by President Warren J. Baker to take over the dean's post as of Aug. 15 on the recommendation of a consultative committee made up of faculty members, students and administrators. Jones has 34 years' experience in architecture, planning, housing development, public policy and education.

"It's a distinct pleasure to name Tom Jones to this essential position," Baker said. "Tom is bringing to Cal Poly not only his long experience as an architect, but also decades of involvement at both the state and national levels in important issues affecting our communities. The College of Architecture and Environmental Design is gaining a dean with exceptional credentials, and we in the campus and local communities will gain the talent of an individual with rare experience in the public-policy debate over land use, housing and other major issues."

As director of the California Futures Network, Jones has worked closely with the Legislature and Governor's Office in coordinating a statewide grouping of 91 environmental, business, labor, social justice, housing, transportation and open-space organizations aiming to achieve more-sustainable development patterns in the state.

Among his many statewide presentations, Jones was a keynote speaker in February at San Luis Obispo County's Smart Growth Conference.

Before becoming director of the California Futures Network, Jones served for two and a half years as a Bay Area and national representative on smart growth and affordable housing issues for the San Francisco regional headquarters of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There he also was involved in the Partnership for Regional Livability initiative directed by the U.S. Vice President's Office.

From 1982 to 1988 and again from 1992 to 1998, Jones served as a director of San Francisco's Asian Neighborhood Design organization, first as director of architecture and planning and later as director of community planning and development. There he designed or directed the design of several award-winning housing projects.

As San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos's architecture and urban planning representative from 1988 to 1992, Jones authored the city's first Affordable Housing Action Plan and then managed the plan's implementation.

In 1998 San Francisco Magazine chose Jones as Architect of the Year for his work in affordable housing and community development.

After earning a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1969 from Cornell University, Jones worked on housing, commercial and institutional projects in Boston and San Francisco. He served as a graduate teaching fellow in the University of Oregon's master of architecture program and practiced again in San Francisco and in New York. When he returned to the Bay Area in 1983 to work for Asian Neighborhood Design, he served as an adjunct faculty member in UC Berkeley's Architecture Department.

During the past decade, Jones developed a working relationship with Cal Poly professors and students as a frequent guest lecturer and project reviewer for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design's San Francisco Urban Program.

Contact: Mike Suess (805) 756-2844

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