January 09, 2006

Terry Owens heads School of Architecture

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A central Illinois native and 25-year veteran as both student and teacher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the first director of the newly formed School of Architecture at SIUC.

Terry A. Owens, 51, began his duties Dec. 1. He will oversee architecture, fashion design and merchandising and interior design programs in his new position. Paul Sarvela, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, said Owens has a track record of success that makes him right for the position.

"He brings a tremendous amount of administrative experience to the job," Sarvela said. "And he brings a healthy dose of good humor."

Owens said his first priority is establishing a master's of architecture degree, which currently is in the development and review stage at the University. The new degree program will accommodate recent changes in the licensing law for architects in the state of Illinois, Owens said. The law now requires students to graduate from a program accredited by the National Association of Architect Boards. The new master's program will meet that requirement.

"Right now our No. 1 goal is getting that master's degree established," Owens said. He said he also plans to develop foundation courses for students in all three programs in the school and hopes to hire two new faculty members soon.

Owens is the first director of the school, established last year after the college was reorganized into four schools from seven departments. Three schools – architecture, allied health and information systems, and applied technology – are up and running. The fourth school, transportation, is nearly complete, Sarvela said.

"One of the best things in the move from departments to schools is it increases the prominence of the programs," Sarvela said. "Having schools is a more accurate reflection of the good things going on in the college and it will help us."

Owens has a long association with SIUC. He received his associate of applied science degree in architecture technology from SIUC in 1980 and earned a bachelor of science degree in advanced technical studies here in 1981. He earned a master's degree in education from SIUC in 1984.

Owens began teaching at SIUC in 1986 as an assistant professor. He became associate professor in 1991 and served as chairman of the Department of Applied Arts since 1993.

Along the way, Owens helped spearhead the installation of a $500,000 state-of-the-art computer graphics facility at Quigley Hall, which was a joint effort of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts and the College of Liberal Arts. He also was instrumental in transforming programs from associate to baccalaureate level degrees, Sarvela said.

Both Owens and his wife, Brenda, are natives of Auburn in central Illinois. The couple has two sons, Zachary, who is serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq, and Matthew, a sophomore majoring in architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Seeking and celebrating faculty excellence are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University if following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Terry Owens

Terry Owens
Download Photo Here