Dear CAUS friends and colleagues,

Thank you for welcoming me warmly to the CAUS and Virginia Tech family. I feel honored to be embraced as a Hokie and look forward to getting to know you and encouraging an open and productive discourse as your dean.

Together, we’re embarking on a journey. Our journey begins with a college renowned for its programs and people – the students, alumni, partners, faculty, staff, and friends that have made CAUS a top destination for higher learning.

Today, I’m inviting you on a journey to explore our path forward. Together, we’ll examine where we are now and where we’re headed as we advance Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries, global land-grant, Ut Prosim vision.

Over the next month(s), I look forward to engaging you in collaborative discussion around three central topic areas:

Our journey: How do we adapt the way we teach, research, and form partnerships at CAUS to solve the world’s most pressing challenges and support the Beyond Boundaries vision? Also, how do we measure our progress and success along the way?

Our partnerships: How can we form partnerships with each other, our industries, and communities to respond to and solve world problems – and prepare students to do so? How do we respond with agility to world issues – both in the learning experiences we offer and in our research?

Our value: How do we share our value proposition with the world? How do we make sure our work is in service of society?

Please continue to watch your email and CAUS social media in the coming weeks as we establish a multimodal platform that will enable all of you to participate. You can also watch this video to learn about how to be involved.

The world has never needed our university as much as it does now. As architects, artists, builders, designers, policymakers, students, academics, professionals, and practitioners, we all play a role in designing the world. Let’s task ourselves now with charting a course forward for CAUS that solves complex global issues, including climate change, sustainability, political stability, and overpopulation. We have a great opportunity to continue to lead our disciplinary fields and, at the same time, to draw on our disciplinary abilities to build a new kind of university.

I look forward to working with you as your dean in the months ahead as we define our journey and claim our role as a leader in addressing these challenges.


Richard Blythe
Dean, College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech