Richard A. Eribes
Richard A. Eribes

Richard A. (Dick) Eribes, Ph.D., AIA, dean emeritus of the University of New Mexico School of Architecture & Planning, died recently in Tucson, Ariz., where he was dean emeritus of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) at the Univerity of Arizona. He was 71. Eribes died after a yearlong battle with myelodysplasia. His wife JoAnn was at his side. He is also survived by his daughter, Kathy, and his three granddaughters, Alexandra, Erin and Regan.

Eribes served as dean of CAPLA 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 most recent Campus Comprehensive Campus Plan of the UA campus. He fully retired from university service in 2009.

As dean at UA, Eribes reorganized the then College of Architecture into a multidisciplinary academic unit (now CAPLA) 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. Its special relationship with Latin America resulted in CAPLA becoming one of the most highly visible and respected American design institutions in Latin America. Students, faculty and alumni have earned national and state recognition through awards, publications and grants, and the college has grown into a position of prominence internationally.

Eribes also marshaled alumni, university, regent and legislative support and funding 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.

Prior to his time as dean of the UNM School of Architecture & Planning, Eribes was both a professor of architecture and a professor of planning at Arizona State University, beginning in 1976. He was 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 ASU West Campus, where he directed the institutional strategic planning effort and capital improvement process for the new university campus, which has been recognized for its excellence of design.

Before joining academia, Dick 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 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 (women and people of color). He was an unceasing advocate for social and economic justice. He was admired by all for his sartorial splendor, and enjoyed for his mischievous humor. Above all, he was loved for his caring, compassionate nature and great generosity of spirit.