Contact: Carolyn Gonzales 277-5920

May 7, 2010

Forbes Isais Selected Dean of UNM School of Architecture and Planning

Geraldine Forbes Isais has been selected dean of the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning. She assumes her new role effective July 1 and succeeds Roger Schluntz, who has served as dean for over a decade.

“I am honored to be selected by my professional and academic colleagues,” Forbes Isais said.  “I intend to build on the great work Roger Schluntz and his predecessors have done in the school,” she said, adding, “We need to do what is necessary to advance the school nationally and internationally.”

Forbes Isais wants the UNM School of Architecture and Planning to be a place that “resonates with the rest of the country.” “I don’t want the school to be one that responds to what takes place elsewhere. We will set trends. They will see our unique and special attributes and know us for artful, ethical, cutting edge and exciting work,” she said.

Provost Suzanne Ortega said, “We are pleased that Professor Forbes Isais has been selected dean of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning. For the last five years she has served the architecture program well, working with faculty to design and implement changes that respond to industry and societal needs. Her knowledge of the school and the university will allow her to move quickly into her new role. I look forward to working with her as dean.”

Forbes Isais has served as director of the school’s architecture program since 2005. In that capacity she has worked with the program’s faculty to implement recent approved curricular changes. She is responsible for a $1.2 million budget, 280 graduate and undergraduate students and 15 full-time and 18 part-time faculty.

Prior to coming to UNM, Forbes Isais served as chair in the Department of Architecture at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Denver. She served as Dean of the architecture program at Woodbury University’s San Diego campus. There, she developed a public-private collaboration between Woodbury University and San Diego Mesa College to deliver a joint undergraduate professional degree program in architecture. She also served as assistant dean of Woodbury’s School of Architecture and Design in Burbank, Calif.

Forbes Isais is a founding partner of and served as principal in charge of design at Jubany Architecture in Los Angeles from 2001-05. Jubany is a 30 person design firm specializing in civic architecture.

Forbes Isais earned a master of architecture degree from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1986; completed graduate studies in cultural anthropology and ethnomusicology at California State University, Fullerton, in 1978, where she earned her undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology in 1975.

Woodbury University honored Forbes Isais with its Faculty Hall of Fame Award for Outstanding Teaching and Contributions to the University in 2009. She received the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professorship in 2007. She also served as ASCA’s president in 2003-04. She is the recipient of numerous design and teaching awards.

(Hall of Fame story to link:


The University of New Mexico is the state's largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state's only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico's only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation.