Campus News

Ned Crankshaw named dean of UK College of Design

Ned Crankshaw wearing a blazer and blue button down shirt standing on the sidewalk with a bicycle in front of a stone house.
Ned Crankshaw is named dean of the UK College of Design. Photo provided by Ned Crankshaw.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2024) ­— Ned Crankshaw has been named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design, effective July 1, pending approval of the UK Board of Trustees. This decision follows an intensive national search process and feedback from the search advisory committee, faculty, staff, students and other community members. 

“Professor Crankshaw has demonstrated excellent leadership of the College of Design in his tenure as acting dean,” said UK Provost Robert S. DiPaola, M.D. “His understanding of the needs of the college and its faculty, staff and students helped guide the transition into the new Gray Design Building and he has continued facilitating the college’s growth. I look forward to seeing how the college continues to expand its impact on our campus and our Commonwealth.”

Crankshaw has served as acting dean of the College of Design since August 2022 and has led sustained growth in enrollment, research efforts and a move into the new Gray Design Building, a space where the college’s community can gather, study and collaborate in one centralized location. 

The College of Design, led by Crankshaw, was also the recipient of a Provost IMPACT Award to support the college’s vision for a Softgoods Lab to inspire innovation and generate new design possibilities. 

Crankshaw previously served as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 2010 to 2022, which is also where he began his first role at UK as assistant professor. During his time in the department, he taught multiple courses and studios, including Introduction to Landscape Architecture, Cultural Landscape Preservation and Landscape Architecture Design Studios. 

A committed advocate for student success and learning, Crankshaw guided multiple groups of undergraduate students with academic and career advising in landscape architecture, and he also served on and chaired thesis committees for graduate students in historic preservation. 

“This is an exciting time to be working with the students, faculty and staff of the College of Design,” said Crankshaw. “For the first time in our history, we have all of UK’s design disciplines together in one building. The Gray Design Building is a remarkable place for work and study. The exposure of our disciplines to each other is enriching our students’ educational experiences and encouraging creative and research collaborations between faculty members. This is an optimistic and energizing time in the college, and I am glad to be continuing as dean.”

Prior to his academic appointment at UK, Crankshaw taught at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Iowa State University College of Design. He also worked with various landscape architecture firms and in his own consulting practice in landscape architecture and cultural landscape preservation. 

Crankshaw has won multiple national awards as an educator and administrator, including the Outstanding Administrator award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in 2023. He was named one of Design Intelligence’s 25 Most Admired Educators in Design in both 2018 and 2019. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.

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.