Kean University in New Jersey announced plans for the new Michael Graves School of Architecture at an event on Saturday, but has faced some backlash from critics arguing that the program is superfluous.
The proposed school is named after firm namesake and principal of Michael Graves & Associates, which has offices in New York City and Princeton, N.J. The school, which plans on its first class entering in fall of 2015, will be located in Green Lane Academic Building on the school's Union, N.J., campus and designed by Springfield, N.J.–based Gruskin Group. Graves, FAIA, is also designing a building for the program at the university's Wenzhou, China campus.
According to articles in New Jersey paper The Record, critics argue that this program is not needed and that the school has jumped-the-gun in announcing a program before going through proper state approval channels.
The nearby (and also public) New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has an architecture program, which the program's dean told The Record is not at capacity. NJIT issued a statement against the Kean University program on Monday. The paper reports that Kean University has yet to receive state approval for the program, which officials reportedly acknowledged at Saturday's event.
The Record reports that the school is differentiating its program by emphasizing hand-drawing skills. "There should not be a myopia in architecture degree programs in New Jersey," said Kean architecture school's acting dean David Mohney, FAIA, in a statement, according to the paper.