Today it was announced that Aaron Betsky has been named the new director of Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design (named #6 on our list of Most Admired Undergraduate Architecture Programs). The appointment follows the news of Betsky’s resignation, planned for spring 2020, as president of the School of Architecture at Taliesin (SoAT). Founded by Frank Lloyd Wright, the institution has been mired in controversy since news of its potential closure—a decision that has now, possibly, been reversed—broke earlier this year.  

Before joining the SoAT in 2015, Betsky (a Yale M.Arch alum) taught at other schools across the country, including the University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, the Taubman School of Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan, and SCI-Arc.

Speaking with RECORD by phone, he called Virginia Tech “a visionary school with visionary leadership.” Asked what he hopes to bring to his new position, he cited “the cross disciplinary work we’re doing at Taliesin, with an emphasis on learning by doing and our design build program.”

Above all, he hopes architectural program graduates learn “to look, to be aware of where you are, and to figure out how you can make what you’ve become aware of better in every sense of the word, in terms of sustainability, social justice, and openness to beauty.”

Betsky’s predecessor, Hunter Pittman, will return to Virginia Tech in a teaching capacity as an associate professor in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Betsky will assume his new role on June 1, 2020.