Texas Tech University

Interim Deans Named for College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Architecture

Amanda Bowman and Norman Martin

May 27, 2021

Cindy Akers and Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger will begin their new roles on June 1.

Cindy Akers, the associate dean for Academic and Student Programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) at Texas Tech University, has been selected as the college's interim dean.

Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger, a professor of architecture at Texas Tech, has been selected as the College of Architecture's interim dean. Both Akers and Flueckiger will begin their new roles on June 1.

Cindy Akers
Cindy Akers

“Dr. Akers brings many years of experience to this role through her service as associate dean for Academic and Student Programs in the college, as well as her service as acting dean since late November 2020,” said Michael Galyean, Texas Tech provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs. “I'm confident that, with her capable leadership, the college will continue to prosper.

“Similarly, Professor Flueckiger brings many years of experience as a faculty member and administrator in the College of Architecture – as well as the high levels of respect from his colleagues – to his service as interim dean, and is poised to help the college continue on its positive trajectory in enrollment growth and faculty scholarship.”

Akers, who also serves as a professor in the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications, has received numerous educational honors. She was named president of the Non-land-grant Agriculture and Renewable Resources Universities (NARRU) in 2019. NARRU's mission lies in being a unifying force for faculty, students, staff and administrators of agriculture, food and renewable resource programs at NARRU state-funded public colleges and universities.

She was named a Fellow in the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) in 2017. In addition, she's the past president of the AAAE-Western Region and has served as chair of Texas Tech's Teaching Academy, a group of some 200 members from throughout the university supporting, promoting and recognizing teaching excellence.

“I am excited by CASNR's potential to push forward in new directions,” Akers said. “This is an opportunity to work with the Texas Tech administration and the entire CASNR community to advance our education and research and continue enriching the college's welcoming, hands-on culture.”

Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger
Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger

Flueckiger is a registered architect and a member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA) and has practiced architecture internationally in Europe, North America and Japan. He is an expert on the cultural meaning and construction systems of modular housing, with particular focus on low-cost and ecological housing types.

He has led collaborations with the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering and School of Art to advance design-build housing as an interdisciplinary pedagogical platform that provides students first-hand experiences with how housing size, shape, materials and construction relate to human experience, renewable energy sources and resilience.

“I'm looking forward to enhancing the ecological aspects of architecture and being sensitive to our demographics and evolving diversity,” Flueckiger said. “I plan to strengthen the existing College of Architecture programs and seek new ways to extend the college's existing vision as well as possibly expand and strengthen the various programs in Lubbock and El Paso.”