UTA Names Adrian Parr to Lead College of Architecture, Planning & Public Affairs

As a bonus, Parr's husband will join the faculty as well. The couple will help enhance the university's efforts on sustainable urban communities.

Adrian Parr

The appointment of Adrian Parr as the new dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington has an added benefit for the school — her husband, architect Michael Zaretsky, will join the faculty of the university’s Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering.

“The simultaneous addition of Parr and Zaretsky to our faculty, with their tremendous experience and expertise in the design and development of sustainable urban communities, will have a long-lasting impact on our ability to produce the next generation urbanists, architects, engineers, and scientists,” UTA Provost Teik C. Lim said in a release.

“I am excited to expand the impact of CAPPA across the university, DFW, nationally, and internationally.”

Adrian Parr

Parr fills a vacancy created when former dean Nan Ellin left last year to take a similar post at the University of Colorado Denver.

Parr comes to UTA from the University of Cincinnati, where she is holder of the UNESCO Chair on Water Access and Sustainability and a professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Science with a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and Interior Design.

She also is the director of the Taft Research Center for Humanities at the University of Cincinnati and a Distiinguished Fellow of the Global Center for Advanced Studies. She recently produced and directed the award-winning documentary, “The Intimate Realities of Water,” which looks at the power dynamics of water in Nairobi, Kenya. 


Michael Zaretsky [Photo courtesy of UT Arlington]

Parr said she is looking forward to coming to the burgeoning urban areas of North Texas.

“New forms of urbanization and organization demand scholars and practitioners imaginatively experiment with inherited forms of knowledge and practice, all the while pushing the boundaries of making, building, and planning the policies driving urban change,” Parr said in the release. “CAPPA combines architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning, and public affairs to respond to these issues. I am excited to expand the impact of CAPPA across the university, DFW, nationally, and internationally.”


The university said that along with his faculty post, Zaretsky will provide leadership in establishing and building an internationally recognized new center at UTA focused on smart, sustainable megacities. 

“In partnership, these two leaders will help us build programs in new areas and areas where the university has existing expertise …”

Teik C. Lim

The new research center will coalesce research and teaching conducted by CAPPA, departments within the College of Engineering, and other disciplines at UTA.

“In partnership, these two leaders will help us build programs in new areas and areas where the university has existing expertise: infrastructure reliability, water management, city planning, built environment, and architectural engineering,” Lim said.

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