In Memoriam: Richard A. Eribes

In Memoriam: Richard A. Eribes

By University Communications
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Richard A. Eribes
Richard A. Eribes

Richard A. Eribes, dean emeritus of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, died on Saturday at age 71 after a yearlong battle with myelodysplasia.

Eribes served as dean from 1997 until 2005. He then returned to the faculty for two years before assuming the role of assistant vice president for campus and facilities planning, where he directed the development of the UA Comprehensive Campus Plan. He retired from the University in 2009.

As dean, Eribes reorganized the College of Architecture into a multidisciplinary academic unit focused on drawing intellectual inspiration from the University's desert setting. The college was structured to explore the changing nature of the building community and the consequent opportunities for improving the human condition. Along with building strong ties with Latin America, the college earned national and state recognition through awards, publications and grants, and the college has grown into a position of prominence internationally.

Eribes also marshaled funding and support from alumni, the University, the Arizona Board of Regents and the state Legislature for an expansion to the building that united the schools of the college. The award-winning facility by Jones Studio and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects furthers the curricular agenda of experimentation and hands-on building experience. Successful fundraising for endowments and scholarships was also a characteristic of his deanship.

Eribes came to the UA from the University of New Mexico, where he was dean of the School of Architecture and Planning from 1993 to 1997. Previously, he was both a professor of architecture and a professor of planning at Arizona State University, beginning in 1976. He was the former director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the arts and associate dean for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at ASU. He also served two years as the assistant vice president for planning and facilities development for the ASU West campus, where he directed the institutional strategic planning effort and capital improvement process for the new campus, which has been recognized for its design. Before joining academia, Eribes was a practicing architect and planning consultant in the Los Angeles area. He earned his doctorate in urban studies in 1977 from the University of Southern California, and also holds both a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture from USC.

Always active as an academic leader, Eribes engaged in extensive research on the pedagogy of architecture, urban design and environmental perception, housing, the California Modernist Movement and public policy. Both the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture have recognized his residential design work as a principal of Taller Penitente and the Drachman Design-Build Coalition.

Eribes was known throughout his career for his active mentoring of students and colleagues, especially those who were underrepresented in the design disciplines. He was an unceasing advocate for social and economic justice.

Eribes is survived by his wife, JoAnn, his daughter, Kathy, and three granddaughters, Alexandra, Erin and Regan.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that, in accordance to Eribes' wishes, gifts be made to the Richard A. Eribes Scholarship Endowment in his honor. A close friend has generously offered to match each donation, dollar for dollar. Checks should be payable to UA Foundation/CAPLA and sent to: CAPLA Development Office, 1040 N Olive Road, P.O. Box 210075, Tucson, AZ 85721.

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