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Press Release

Christine Theodoropoulos, Dean of Renowned College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Announces Retirement 

Contact: Keegan Koberl



SAN LUIS OBISPO — Christine Theodoropoulos, dean of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), has announced her plans to retire from the university.

Theodoropoulos joined Cal Poly in 2012 as the first woman to serve as dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. She is the second-longest-serving dean in the college’s 75-year history and the longest serving dean among the current leadership of Cal Poly’s six academic colleges.

Dean Christine Theodoropoulos
National Leader in Architectural Education is First Woman to Serve as Dean for the College. Photo by Gail Mooney, courtesy of Cal Poly. (High-resolution version available on request.)

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Cal Poly’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, shared the news of Theodoropoulos’ impending retirement with the campus community Monday.

“Dean Theodoropoulos’ interdisciplinary background and her interest in professional education that integrates architectural and structural design drew her to the CAED, where she found exciting opportunities emerging from the college’s tradition of symbiotic connections between programs in planning, design, engineering, and construction,” Jackson-Elmoore said. “Her work has elevated Cal Poly’s standing as a top-ranked school that prepares graduates to shape the built environment.”

Jackson-Elmoore shared that she will work with Theodoropoulos in the coming year while the university conducts a nationwide search for the college’s next dean and facilitates a leadership transition that ensures the continued success of the CAED community and positions the college for future achievements that will sustain the excellence of CAED programs.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work with so many amazing members of the Cal Poly community over the past decade supporting our students and helping to shape the built environment of California and beyond,” Theodoropoulos said. “I am looking forward to continuing collaborative efforts serving communities, both locally and globally.”

During Theodoropoulos’ tenure as dean, the CAED strengthened faculty expertise and grew student enrollment while advancing the national recognition of its accredited programs. She formed a college leadership team that engaged the CAED community as it developed an academic masterplan and a diversity strategic plan, expanded the size and role of the Dean’s Leadership Council, and founded the college’s first DEI Committee. Through partnerships with the college’s academic departments, alumni, friends, and industry, she increased support for students with financial need, fostered new and increased access to career paths and co-curricular and global programs, and founded the CAED Teacher-and-Student-Scholar Grant Program.

A national leader in architectural education, Theodoropoulos has served as the chancellor of the ACSA College of Distinguished Professors; as the founding president of the Building Technology Educators Society; on the boards of the ACSA, the NAAB and AIA Oregon; and on numerous awards juries. Her extensive experience as an educational consultant, program reviewer and member of accreditation review teams has benefitted numerous architecture and design programs in the U.S. and abroad.

Theodoropoulos is a licensed architect and engineer in California. She earned a Master of Architecture degree at Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree at Princeton University. She has been a member of architecture faculties at various institutions including Cal Poly Pomona, the University of Houston, and the University of Oregon, where she served as head of the Department of Architecture.