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Scott Poole, FAIA

Dean Emeritus, Professor

School of Architecture

John Scott Poole was appointed dean of the College of Architecture and Design in spring 2011 and stepped down to return to teaching in June 2021, when he was named Dean Emeritus by the University of Tennessee. During his tenure as dean, his primary strategic initiatives were to build collaborations and external partnerships, elevate the academic profile of the college’s students, and recruit and retain superior faculty members.

Over the course of his academic career, Poole’s primary scholarly and outreach contribution has been increasing the awareness of contemporary Nordic architecture. Through publications, lectures, exhibits, symposiums, conferences, study tours, professional continuing education, and academic exchanges, he has elevated appreciation and understanding of Nordic architecture within America and across the globe.

His book, The New Finnish Architecture, has been published in three languages and reprinted twice by Rizzoli International.

He has been a guest professor at the Royal Academy of Technology in Stockholm, the University of Texas, Austin, the University of Calgary, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

In 2012 and 2014 he was named one of the 25 Most Admired Educators in America by DesignIntelligence. He was elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2016 and was named a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council in 2021.

In support of his scholarship, he has received grants from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Contact Information


  • Master of Architecture., The University of Texas at Austin, 1983

  • Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, Temple University, 1973


Honors & Awards



Expertise & Interests

As a design teacher, scholar, and academic leader, Professor Poole has influenced the lives and professional careers of more than a thousand students. While at Virginia Tech, he taught more than 100 design studios and seminar courses, receiving both his college’s Excellence in Teaching Award and its Professional Development Award. Students he taught and mentored have become prominent partners, principals, and leaders at award winning firms and top academic institutions in the U.S. and Europe.

As Director of Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design (2004-2011), Poole forged new relationships between architectural education and the profession, advanced curricular innovation, and led initiatives that brought about long-term financial stability, including the addition of nearly $1M to the school’s annual budget. Moreover, during his administration, he sparked multi-disciplinary collaboration with the school being named a University Exemplary Program for its collaboration across disciplinary boundaries in 2007.

Through his leadership and guidance, Virginia Tech’s four design programs––architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and industrial design––became ranked in the top ten nationally 31 times during his 7+ years as school director.

In 2008, the undergraduate architecture program was ranked #1 in America, and in 2010 the undergraduate landscape architecture program was ranked #1. In 2009, DesignIntelligence recognized Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design as one of America’s World-Class Schools of Architecture.

Poole’s study of the relationship between art and architecture led to his organization of symposia in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 1996 and 1998. Each two-day symposium––attended by more than 400 students, academics, and professionals––featured world-class artists and architects. The results led to publications supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Fine Arts.

Through this work, he was invited to lecture, lead workshops, and teach design studios at the Royal Academy of Technology in Stockholm, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture in Copenhagen.