LandTexture: Director Ming-Han Li's Message

SPDC's Director shares his thoughts about challenges and opportunities for the School and the Landscape Architecture program.

Portrait of Ming-Han Li

Director’s Message, 2022

The period of 2018-2022 has gone by fast as I complete my first 5-year term as the Director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC). The school and LA program have many successes in the past five years. Credit should be given to all faculty, staff and alumni, as well as student leaders who always find ways to help our students and support each other. I am immensely grateful for the support from many people.

As you know, the university has faced several challenges in the past five years. The latest was former President Stanley’s resignation that resulted in leadership change at the university level and raised concerns about college leadership continuity. Fortunately Dean Millenbah, who served as interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been appointed as permanent dean of the college. This is excellent news that brought comfort and confidence to the college, as well as SPDC, because Dean Millenbah has been a strong supporter and advocate for our school and the LA program.

I am delighted to inform you that our school has adopted its first diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategic plan. Our school also received a “Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant” from the university. We are excited about the opportunity to implement the tactics detailed in the DEI strategic plan. Together, Spartans Will plan, design and build a future that is sustainable, healthy, inclusive and just for all.

One particular highlight this year was my in-person experience at ASLA 2022 annual conference in San Francisco. Twenty-three LA students attended the conference and showed up at the reception event to demonstrate the Spartan spirit. Our students helped MSU win the Best School Spirit Award! This is a testament of the impact from the generous support from LAAAB. Also, I’d like to note that through the leadership and generosity of Bob Chipman as well as the support of the LAAAB, the Landscape Architecture Innovation Fund has grown significantly, which helped support students to attend the national ASLA conference. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to the endowment.

Under the leadership of Dr. Jun-Hyun Kim, our LA program has been doing very well. He has led a successful accreditation and a wonderful celebration of the LA program’s 120th anniversary in 2018. Our LA program will be 125 years old in 2023. I am excited about the opportunity to celebrate the program’s milestone and hope you will join us to celebrate together. Go Green!

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