On the eve of his departure as president, Tuskegee's Dr. Benjamin F. Payton announced that the Board of Trustees approved his recommendation to elevate the Department of Architecture at Tuskegee University to School status.
The new school was given the name the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture, in honor of the first black to graduate in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Taylor set up the architecture program at Tuskegee in 1892, at the invitation of founder, Booker T. Washington.
"This move reinforces the University's efforts to increase visibility and strength in that area (architecture)," Payton said. "The action should also serve as a strong statement of the University's commitment to the program over the long haul."
Current architecture department head, Dr. Richard Dozier, has been named the first dean of the new school.
Architecture was a department within the College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences. The dean of the College, Dr. Legand Burge, stated that he is "fully supportive of the action of the trustees and the president. It is the right direction in which we should be going."
Tuskegee University began offering certificates in architecture under the Division of Mechanical Industries in 1893. The four-year curriculum in architecture leading to the Bachelor of Science degree was initiated in 1957 and the professional six-year program in 1965. The program is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.