Wells takes reins as head of
Department of Architecture


Ward Wells can add another leadership role to his 33-year educational and administrative resumé at Texas A&M's College of Architecture, this time as interim head of the Department of Architecture.

"Professor Wells has a deep understanding of the department and the college, and in addition, has earned over time the respect of faculty, students, staff and former students in the department," said dean of the college, Jorge Vanegas, who appointed Wells as interim head of the Department of Architecture last summer. "His extensive administrative experience within the college and the university is particularly important given the challenging times we face."

During his stewardship of the department, Wells said he plans to emphasize design and the design process, as well as take a close look at the department's obligations toward its professional curriculum.

"I am delighted to see Ward Wells at the helm of the department," said Wells' predecessor, Glen Mills, a professor of architecture at Texas A&M. "The department is headed in the right direction and we could not have a better head to help take it to the next stage of development."

That sentiment was echoed by Phillip J. Tabb, an architecture professor who served as head of the department from 2001-2005. "He will bring a keen sense of the profession of architecture and a sensitivity toward design as the core of an architectural education," said Tabb.  "He is familiar with the faculty and will be fair in leading the department."

Wells' administrative role at the college is a familiar one: from 1990 to 2001, he served as its executive associate dean, chiefly responsible for academic affairs, planning and administration of the college. He served as the college's interim dean from 1997-98.

A member of the College of Architecture faculty since 1977, Wells is credited with developing an interior architecture emphasis for Texas A&M's Master of Architecture program, which was recognized in 1985 by Interiors Magazine as one of the top interdisciplinary programs in the nation. During this period, students from his design studios won more than a dozen regional and national design competitions.

As a professor of architecture, his current teaching and research interests at the graduate level include architectural design, interior architecture/adaptive use and health facility design. He currently serves as a faculty fellow for the college's CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry and the centers for Heritage Conservation and Health Systems & Design.

"I have worked with Wells for more than 15 years in many capacities; executive associate dean, interim dean, professor, associate department head and now as interim department head," said Melinda Randle, assistant to the architecture department head. "He is a very caring and compassionate person who is also extremely knowledgeable about academics and administration."

Wells is also director of the Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts at Texas A&M, where he works to enhance art initiatives, especially those that involve collaboration among different art programs within the university community.

As the department’s new interim head, Wells had an opportunity to meet with a number of former students at an October reception hosted by the college during the Texas Society of Architects annual convention in San Antonio.

The former students, who reviewed student work on exhibit at the event, expressed a great deal of excitement about the direction of the department, said Wells.

"There we many comments on the great quality of the work our students are doing," he said. "We want to continue to meet the expectations of our former students and graduate highly qualified young professionals in the professional program as well as qualified researchers in our Master of Science and Ph.D. programs."

As a member of the American Institute of Architects, Wells has served on the steering committee of the Professional Interest Area for Interiors and was the committee’s national chair in 1996. He has also served on a round table committee for the National Research Council's Research on Productivity in the Built Environment and as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation's "green" guideline reports.
In 2004 Wells was named an Alumni Fellow at Kansas State University for his distinguished achievement as an educator and designer and he was named to the Architecture Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Oklahoma.

In 2008 he received the Silver Medal from Tau Sigma Delta, a national architecture honor society, and the Graduate Faculty Award from Texas A&M.

Wells has served on the board of the Brazos Valley Symphony and is currently on the design review board for the city of College Station.

He's also well into his third decade in the Gourmet Club of College Station, in which members enjoy dishes made by their fellow club members. During his spare time, Wells enjoys bass fishing and flyfishing.


- Posted: Nov. 5, 2010 -

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Contact:   Phillip Rollfing, prollfing@archone.tamu.edu or 979.458.0442.


Ward V. Wells

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