Professional News

Ned Crankshaw awarded CELA Outstanding Administrator Award

headshot photo of Ned Crankshaw
Ned Crankshaw. Photo by Matt Barton, UK Agricultural Communications.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2023) — Ned Crankshaw, acting dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design, recently received the 2023 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Outstanding Administrator Award.

The intent of this highly competitive award is to honor a faculty member’s long-term accomplishment as an administrator. The awardee must be nominated, and their qualities must be supported by evidence of efforts to instigate, support or inspire improvements in the education and experience of students, the academic growth and productivity of program faculty and the positive recognition of the academic unit by outside institutions.

“Good administration is about helping people find their way to success within a shared mission," said Crankshaw. "It’s easy to associate money and policy with administration, but it starts with culture and intention.”

Crankshaw joined the faculty of the UK Department of Landscape Architecture in 1990. As a faculty member in Landscape Architecture, he has collaborated extensively in teaching and research with faculty members in Architecture, Interior Design and Historic Preservation. He was chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at UK from 2010-2022, where he empowered faculty and students by helping them build a culture of belonging and ensuring that funding in the department supported student and faculty advancement. One of the most important advances made by the department under his leadership was significantly increased diversity of student identity. Additionally, he was named two years in a row, 2018 and 2019, as one of the 25 most admired educators in architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture by Design Intelligence. He is a former member and chair of the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board, which oversees the accreditation of 100 landscape architecture degree programs in the United States and he continues to participate in LAAB site visits. He was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2017.

Crankshaw has a record of research activity in cultural landscape management and especially in ways to incorporate thoughtful contemporary design into historic landscapes. His more recent work is in two areas. One involves the wellness benefits of human contact with nature in urban landscapes and the other involves strategies to increase urban tree canopy to mitigate higher temperatures driven by climate-change.

Most recently he became acting dean of the College of Design in August 2022.

Crankshaw was nominated by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Department of Landscape Architecture’s Christopher K. Sass, Ph.D.

“Ultimately, Ned offers selfless service to the department, college, university, and profession as an administrator. He puts the needs and desires of others first. Altruistic summarizes Ned Crankshaw’s career and the main character trait he took with him to the Chair’s position in 2010. We as a department have been lucky, if not spoiled, to have him as our chair. He now shares those traits with others as Acting Dean of the College of Design,” said Sass. “He is to us all, a wonderful mentor, friend, confidant and leader."

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.