UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Architecture alumna Patricia Kucker, who has spent the past 27 years in higher education administration, has been named the interim director of the Stuckeman School in the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture. The position is a two-year appointment that begins July 1.
Kucker, who holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education, Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University, began her career as a licensed architect, entered the teaching ranks of architecture programs and later moved into the broader realm of higher education administration in the arts and design.
“We are thrilled to welcome an architect and administrator with Patricia Kucker’s experience to lead the Stuckeman School,” said Barbara Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. “Patricia has a proven record as an effective leader at some of the top schools in the arts and design, and this background will guide her in serving as an inspiring leader of our top-ranked programs in architecture, landscape architecture and graphic design.”
Kucker most recently served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia. In her position, she worked closely with the university president to translate his vision into actionable strategies. As the chief academic officer, she oversaw and managed academic program evaluations, curricular development, the faculty development grant program, the academic operating budgets, and the faculty promotion and reappointment process, among other duties. She also initiated the development of the first UArts Day, which is a campus-wide celebration that is designed to connect students across the university, expand connections to alumni and the city of Philadelphia, and strengthen the creative and professional skills of students.
Prior to her appointment at UArts, Kucker was the associate dean for faculty affairs and curriculum in the College of Design, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati from 2010 to 2016. During this time, Kucker led the National Association of Schools of Art and Design 10-year accreditation process of 11 degree programs across the three schools within the college. She also led several initiatives that supported the development of summer camp offerings annually serving more than 300 high school students and, in particular, students from underrepresented groups.
Before becoming associate dean, Kucker was the graduate program director and associate director of the School of Architecture and Interior Design at Cincinnati for four years. She also served as the head of the Department of Architecture for three years prior. Kucker previously held full-time teaching positions in architecture at the University of Arkansas, University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Penn State and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Kucker was nationally elected secretary of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, serving from 2010 to 2012. She led accreditation teams to architecture programs for over 10 years and then served on the National Architectural Accrediting Board from 2012 to 2015 and was twice elected treasurer. In 2008, she received a College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Award.
A licensed architect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Kucker began her career with Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham Architects in Philadelphia. After a brief stint with another practice in the city, she started her own firm, Patricia Kucker AIA Architects, where she practiced for six years before setting her sights on higher education as a full-time profession.
Kucker received her B.S. and B.Arch. degrees from Penn State and her M.Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a certificate from the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute at the University of Denver in 2014. HERS is a leadership research and development institute for women in higher education.
Kucker is familiar with the Stuckeman School, having served on the inaugural advisory team at the request of Korner in 2009 and on the School’s Advisory Board from 2011 to 2017. She fills the vacancy left by the departure of Kelleann Foster, who has served as director of the Stuckeman School since 2013 and is entering phased retirement.
The Stuckeman School is home to the Penn State Architecture and Landscape Architecture undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as the undergraduate Graphic Design program.