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Provost Banavar appoints Laura Vandenburgh as interim Dean of College of Design

A generally well-informed CoD professor notes that she was not the preferred choice of Dean Lindner, and provides this anonymous endorsement:

She is calm, capable, wise, fair-minded and well respected by her peers, across departments.  People trust her, and trust is an important issue after three years under a dean who was not universally trusted.  Her style of low key but effective leadership is perfect for the task.

Provost Banavar’s letter:

April 2, 2019

Dear College of Design Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that Laura Vandenburgh has agreed to serve as interim dean of the University of Oregon College of Design. She will succeed Dean Christoph Lindner, who will be stepping down at the end of the academic year.

Laura is an associate professor in the Department of Art and has a long history at UO, having served as the head of the college’s School of Art + Design since 2017. She joined the UO in 1998 and is highly regarded for her passion for excellence and creativity. Her artwork has been shown from New York City, Canada, and Germany to Portland and Seattle in the Northwest.

Laura served as head of the art department from 2008-14. She has a wealth of experience in administration, and has served on the university’s Undergraduate Council, Academic Residential Communities Council, and University Senate. Externally, Laura has represented UO with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the organization that establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, design, and related disciplines.

In 2014, she received the Fund for Faculty Excellence, an honor bestowed on UO faculty members to recognize, reward, and retain those with a distinct record of excellence in research, scholarship, creative accomplishment, and teaching.

Laura is excited about working closely with Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Liska Chan and the rest of the college’s leadership team to continue the great work being done to help our students be successful. I have every confidence that, with Laura in the interim dean position, the College of Design will continue advancing the vision and direction that Christoph started when he arrived at UO three years ago.

Laura will start in her new role on July 1, and she will work closely with Christoph in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition before he departs campus in August. This includes identifying an acting head for the School of Art + Design, along with assisting the College of Design’s efforts around addressing budget reductions. A search for a permanent dean will be launched in the fall.

Please join me in congratulating Laura on her new assignment.


Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President


  1. Dog 04/03/2019

    Possible one of Banavar’s last official acts

  2. Pablo Picasso 04/08/2019

    Best possible result for the College of Design!

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