BY BONNIE MEIBERS
Miami University journalism student
The death of Miami University architecture professor Tom Dutton has left a gaping hole in the communities where he lived and worked.
“We’re never going to replace Tom,” said Mary Rogero, interim chair of Miami’s Department of Architecture and Interior Design. “I don’t know that we can.”
Dutton was the founder and director for the Center for Community Engagement in Over-The-Rhine (OTR), located just north of downtown Cincinnati.
Dutton, 65, died on June 13 of this year. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October. He was active in issues related to affordable housing, poverty and racial equity. His areas of study were history theory, social responsibility and social justice.
Too soon to know what’s next
“Losing [Tom] really shook up the community,” Rogero said. “I don’t like seeing that office door closed.”
Rogero said that the faculty has not talked about how to fill Dutton’s vacant teaching position or his position in the OTR program — and won’t for quite some time.
Mary Rogero’s office is next to Dutton’s still-vacant one in Alumni Hall . — Photo by Bonnie Meibers
“This is still fresh. I just don’t know the answer to that yet,” Rogero said. “We haven’t had a discussion about it as faculty yet.”
The department will fill Dutton’s teaching position, but it is still unclear whether that position will be tied to the OTR program as well.
For now, architecture instructor John Blake is serving as interim director for the Center for Community Engagement. Blake has been with the program for a number of years.
“[Blake] was the likely successor to keep Tom’s work and the momentum going,” Rogero said. “He is doing a terrific job as interim director right now.”