LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has selected Professor Mark E. Boyer, head of the University of Arkansas’s Department of Landscape Architecture, to serve as the school’s new director.
Pending approval from the LSU System Board of Supervisors, Boyer, who received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Robert Reich School in 1996, will assume directorship of the school effective July 2015.
“It is amazing to come back home,” said Boyer, who was born in Michigan and grew up in Kansas. “I’m not from Louisiana, but as someone once told me, once you’ve been to LSU, it gets in your blood. I’m excited to come back and completely honored to be offered the position as director of the school.”
The process to find a new director for the school began in the summer of 2014. After an extensive search, the Director Search Committee, headed by Professor Emeritus Suzanne Turner, identified several excellent, qualified applicants. The committee invited the final candidates to present in an open forum to LSU College of Art & Design faculty, students, and staff.
“His presentation to our students and faculty revealed a sincere passion for the profession reminiscent of our founder, Dr. Robert S. Reich,” said LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Interim Director Van Cox, who will continue to serve in the position through June 2015. “Mark understands our traditions and is committed to an even better future. We are delighted to welcome Mark back ‘home.’”
Boyer, a registered landscape architect in Louisiana and Arkansas, received his BS in landscape architecture with distinction from the University of Kentucky after serving four years in the United States Air Force. He followed two years of practice with a graduate degree in landscape architecture. While pursuing his MLA at LSU, Boyer worked on several projects that dealt with protecting/restoring sensitive ecosystems and lands in an interdisciplinary approach with geographers, coastal ecologists, state resource managers, federal agencies, and federal wildlife managers.
“I was at LSU when Robert Reich was still teaching,” said Boyer. “I was fortunate to be around and work with Neil Odenwald, Suzanne Turner, Wayne Womack, Dan Earle, Jon Emerson, Chuck Fryling, Bruce Sharky, Max Conrad, Sadik Artunc, and Van Cox—so I understand the foundation and the legacy of the program. I am looking forward to building the next phase of the school’s legacy, with the faculty we have and the new faculty who are going to join us.”
“Mark was an outstanding student here, has since demonstrated his professional and educational leadership elsewhere, and is now rejoining us with the opportunity to guide the school to even greater excellence,” added Cox.
Following his graduate education, Boyer entered private practice again as a landscape architect at Patrick C. Moore Landscape Architects + Site Planners (now Environmental Resources Management) in Alexandria, Louisiana, where he was involved in institutional site design, master planning, and large-scale state and national park projects. He joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1998 and has taught courses on landscape architecture construction materials and technologies, ecological design studios, and interdisciplinary courses on urban stormwater management and constructed wetlands. He has won several teaching awards at the departmental and national level and was inducted into the highly distinguished University of Arkansas Teaching Academy.
Boyer has received numerous grants for his research on landscape architecture design and construction technologies; sustainable design; green roofs and bio-retention; and sustainable and alternative stormwater management technologies. He has presented papers at national and international conferences and his work has been published in dozens of peer-reviewed publications. Boyer received bevies of merit and honor awards from the national and regional organizations of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the American Institute of Architects, and others for the planning and design of an urban greenway in Warren, Arkansas, and as a project design team member of “Habitat Trails: from infill house to green neighborhood design.”
Boyer was named head of UA’s Department of Landscape Architecture in 2010, after serving as interim director for two years. He also served as interim associate dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and is currently co-director of the Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center, a university-wide center focused on developing teaching excellence.
His extensive involvement in landscape architecture professional organizations includes serving for two years as second vice president of the Council of Educators of Landscape Architecture (2012–14), an elected position. A member of ASLA, he served on the Committee for Education (2012–14). He has volunteered for the Task Analysis Experts Committee and the Cut Score Committee of the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB), the organization that certifies landscape architecture professionals and establishes and promotes standards for professional competency and conduct.
Boyer said, as director, he will focus on continuing the efforts that have garnered the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture a stellar reputation and top billing in annual rankings of landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate programs compiled by DesignIntelligence, the leading journal of the design professions. He also has plans to focus on recruitment and continue his work with ASLA to market and promote the landscape architecture profession as a whole. Most of all, he is looking forward to working closely with the faculty, staff, and fellow Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture alumni.
“The faculty are essential in establishing the culture of the program and experience of the students so they get LSU in their blood, as well, and stay connected as alumni,” added Boyer. “Alumni are critically important to the success of the school. I will be relying on those relationships to develop partnerships and create more internship and job opportunities for our students and graduates.”
“We are happy to welcome Mark to the college and community,” stated LSU College of Art & Design Dean Alkis Tsolakis. “He brings a wealth of professional, educational, and administrative experience. He will maintain the high standards that have distinguished the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture and will contribute to the interdisciplinary collaboration and integration both within the College of Art & Design as well as within the academic and professional world.”
About LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has established an international reputation as one of America’s leading and consistently top-ranked programs. Part of the LSU College of Art & Design, the school offers Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs. For more than 70 years, the program has produced landscape architects who practice all over the world and participate in the full spectrum of the discipline. For more information, visit landscape.lsu.edu.
LSU College of Art & Design