Professor David Cronrath Retires

By Christine Cestello Hinojosa / May 19, 2023

Dean Jourdan David Cronrath and Provost Jennifer Rice
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(Left to right): MAPP's Dawn Jourdan, Dean, and David Cronrath, Professor and Former Dean (2012-2016) with UMD Senior Vice President and Provost and Jennifer King Rice. Photo: Jen Sanderson

Dean (2010-2016)

David Cronrath, who served as dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 2010 to 2016, has begun his retirement. After arriving here from Louisiana State, he served six years as dean, transitioned to the office of the provost and then returned to his role as a professor of architecture for his last few years before retirement. During that time, he helped the school build solid relationships with and better integrate into the larger university, allowing us to gain a level of respect across campus. His ability to consistently communicate the importance of design thinking, as well as his manner and experience in problem-solving, helped others understand and appreciate how necessary those skills are when thinking differently and arriving at creative solutions.

A skilled administrator who understood how the university functions, David was instrumental in getting new skylights and lighting for the building, classroom furniture and a studio renovation that included accessible and moveable power outlets along with new chairs and desks and for the students—for the first time in 40 years! The big pin-up pylons that he designed and had built are now affectionately referred to as "Cronraths"!

David appreciated the staff, guiding and empowering them to work together to find solutions. He reinvigorated the communications office, adding a greater focus on alumni and donor outreach and grew the staff by adding a writer and a career development specialist while instilling an open-door and transparent culture that encouraged conversation and critical thinking.

He championed and cultivated several initiatives during his tenure including a new budgetary system; partnerships connecting the school to broader university initiatives; and increasing academic offerings to include an expansion of dual degrees, interdisciplinary opportunities and two new undergraduate minors—construction management and real estate development.

David made a significant impact on the school as an articulate and outspoken leader who approached issues with a high level of professionalism. His integrity and thoughtfulness fostered a collaborative, curious and "fearless" environment for students, faculty and staff. We want to thank David for his insightful work at the school and wish him the very best in retirement.