Alumna Margaret M. Carney named university architect

Margaret McFadden Carney, B.Arch. ’81, has been named the university architect for Cornell, announced Rick Burgess, vice president for infrastructure, properties and planning. As senior director/university architect, Carney will contribute significantly to the overall direction of Cornell’s architectural design, campus planning, landscape architecture and capital planning.

“Margaret is a talented architect with a superb record of achievement,” Burgess said. “She knows Cornell well, having been here as a student and returning as a practicing architect. We’re very excited about Margaret joining the Cornell team.”

In her role as the architectural conscience of the institution and the steward of sound architectural design standards, Carney will lead initiatives to meet the long-range, functional and aesthetic goals of the university. Her efforts will ensure a cohesive campus that promotes Cornell’s educational mission while being sensitive to adaptive reuse of historical buildings, historical preservation and aesthetically pleasing grounds and greenspaces.

Carney will head the Campus Planning Office, reporting to Burgess, and work with campus unit partners and external agencies. She will oversee guidance of architectural designs and selection of architectural consultants.

Carney comes to Cornell from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where she served as university architect and associate vice president for facilities planning, and led a 200-person team responsible for all aspects of the physical environment of the campus. In a one-year period, Carney developed that university’s first five-year capital budget and gained support of its board of trustees to increase facilities’ funding in order to resolve significant deferred maintenance issues, preserve legacy buildings and begin implementation of an ambitious master plan.

Prior to holding that position, Carney was university architect for Temple University for five years and Case Western Reserve University for eight. She was the first university architect and planner for both universities, where she led the development and implementation of transformational campus master plans.

In her previous work for various architectural firms, Carney designed an addition to Cornell’s Grumman Squash Courts and an athletic facility master plan. She also was involved in the planning and design of the Physical Sciences Building and the parking garage at Schoellkopf Field.

“I am honored and excited to be returning to Ithaca to serve as the university architect for Cornell,” Carney said. “My experience leading the physical development of three other very unique campuses over the past 15 years has been a real privilege, and has prepared me well for the work we will do on Cornell’s campuses.

“I look forward to building partnerships with university and community constituencies,” she added, “as we continue to advance the innovative quality of Cornell’s built environment while also preserving the legacy buildings and landscape that are so much a part of Cornell's unique trademark.”

Carney will begin her new role at Cornell on Feb. 5.

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Lindsey Knewstub