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Robert Shibley

School of Architecture and Planning


Robert Shibley

Diefendorf 113


(716) 829-3981


Robert G. Shibley, Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, is an internationally renowned scholar and practitioner in architecture, planning and urban design. 

Since joining the UB School of Architecture and Planning in 1982, he has served as professor in both the architecture and planning departments, with eight years as chair  in architecture (1982-1990). He was appointed dean in 2011. 

Founding The Urban Design Project (UDP) in 1990, Shibley has since led the development of nationally award-winning plans for Buffalo’s downtown, waterfront, Olmsted parks system, and the city’s comprehensive plan, its first in over 30 years.  Through UDP, Shibley served as principal investigator on the Larkin District Master Plan, Niagara Heritage Area Resource Study and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Plan. Most recently he led the UB Regional Institute/UDP team in the creation of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Plan yielding $ 100 million in additional state support for the region. 

As UB’s Senior Advisor to the President for Campus Planning and Design, and now as its first Campus Architect, Shibley led an ambitious comprehensive plan – the university’s first master plan since creation of the North Campus in the 1970s – to enhance the competitiveness of UB’s three campus centers, a critical piece of the UB 2020 strategic plan. He also led the development of UB’s Climate Action Plan. He continues to oversee the implementation of these plans as campus architect and chairman of the university's Environmental Stewardship Committee. 

Shibley has authored, co-authored or edited 11 books, including Placemaking:The Art and Practice of Building Communities, and Time Savers Standards for Urban Design, while publishing 12 book chapters and over 100 articles and case histories.  

In 2010, he received the prestigious “President’s Medal” from the University at Buffalo for his scholarship and service to the professions, region and UB.  He also received the James R. Haecker award for distinguished leadership in architectural research from the Architectural Research Centers Consortium. In 2012, he received the Robert and Louise Bethune Award, the highest accolade that the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Buffalo/Western New York chapter bestows. The lifetime achievement award recognizes Shibley’s contributions to the profession of architecture over the past 30 years through practice, mentorship and community leadership. His work has also been recognized by the American Planning Association, The Congress of New Urbanism, the International Economic Development Council, the Preservation League of New York State and Progressive Architecture magazine.        

Throughout his career, Shibley has consulted internationally in service of excellence in the professions and design education, including commissions with with the American Institute of Architects, an appointment to the Erie Canalways National Heritage Corridor Commission and a role as professional advisor to the Rudy Bruner Foundation. In his previous roles with the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Energy, Shibley helped produce research-based design guides, demonstration programs and curricula.  

Shibley holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from The Catholic University of America and a bachelor of architecture and a bachelor of science in psychology degree from the University of Oregon.