Kolker named assistant vice chancellor of campus planning

James “Jamie” Kolker has been named assistant vice chancellor of campus planning and director of capital projects in Facilities Planning & Management at Washington University in St. Louis, announced Henry S. Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration.


“Jamie Kolker is an extremely talented architect and campus development leader,” Webber says. “He has demonstrated remarkable vision and a long-term record of success while planning and designing facilities throughout the United States and the world. I am confident he is a great asset to Washington University.”

Kolker will be responsible for managing the long-term planning, design and development of the Danforth Campus and its surrounding areas.

Kolker will work closely with senior academic and administrative leadership to ensure that, as the university grows and academic programs change, WUSTL schools and administration offices have the space needed to excel in their work, study and research.

Kolker also will be charged with maintaining the campus’ excellence in design and appearance and protecting and conserving its historic buildings and green space.

Kolker will report to Arthur J. Ackermann, associate vice chancellor for facilities planning & management, and will supervise the current facilities planning & management capital projects team. He also will collaborate with colleagues at the Medical Campus on cross-cutting campus planning, design and development issues and initiatives.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the entire Washington University community as we consider the future of all of our locations and architectural contexts,” Kolker says. “I am especially honored to work within one of Cope and Stewardson’s most significant campuses and build upon its enduring legacy as we look ahead.”

Kolker, a licensed architect, brings significant campus and health-care facilities planning experience to WUSTL. Most recently, he was a senior associate and market leader at NBBJ architects and planners in New York City, where he focused on academic medical centers throughout the country.

Prior to that, Kolker from 2004-09 served as principal of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA), an architecture and planning firm. As principal, Kolker worked closely with clients to manage the planning, design and project phases of academic, research, health-care and civic projects.

Kolker first joined VSBA in 1986 as an architectural designer. He became a licensed architect in 1992, associate in 1995 and senior associate in 2000. He was made managing director in 2001 before becoming principal in 2004.

While at VSBA, Kolker provided campus planning and design expertise for the University of California, Santa Barbara; The Ohio State University; the University of Kentucky; Dartmouth College; Haverford College and the University of Delaware.

While with VSBA, Kolker also worked on health-care and civic projects, including the University of Michigan Health System, Lehigh Valley Health Network, the Storm King Art Center sculpture museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.

He currently is helping lead the architectural preservation and design of visitor services for Beth Sholom Synagogue outside of Philadelphia, a National Historic Landmark and Frank Lloyd Wright’s only synagogue design.

From 1990-91, Kolker was an architectural designer with Arkkitehtitoimisto Pekka Salminen in Helsinki, Finland.

Kolker has taught and lectured at many universities worldwide, including WUSTL’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the Helsinki University of Technology, Tampere Technical University in Finland, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Oregon, Temple University and Drexel University.

Kolker earned a bachelor of arts degree in architecture from Columbia College in 1984 and a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University in 1986.

Kolker earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation in 2006. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Society for College and University Planners, and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design.