At its meeting in Arlington, Virginia, March 27-28, the ASCE Board of Direction addressed several significant initiatives that will advance not only the Society but also the future of the civil engineering profession.
The Board adopted 8 core values to guide it in future deliberations, following their initial development at the January 2015 Board of Direction meeting. The values are integrity, honesty, respect, service, excellence, teamwork, accountability, and a commitment to ASCE’s vision, mission, goals, and Code of Ethics. The Board then discussed progress on an “environmental scan” of issues that will impact the profession and ASCE, with the ultimate goal of creating an updated and prioritized “radar screen” of strategic issues. Kicked off by Kristina L. Swallow, P.E., M.ASCE, Region 8 Director and chair of a subgroup that is helping to guide the Board’s strategic planning process, Board members provided insights on a revised list that will go to other stakeholder groups for their input.
During a strategy session with the Board, the Committee on Advancing the Profession led a discussion of the role of public image in advancing the profession – including attracting and retaining new generations to civil engineering. Promoting the public image of civil engineering is a top member interest, and discussion centered on how to assess and prioritize efforts in this area. The upcoming IMAX film project Dream Big! was one program mentioned as addressing this need.
The Board heard a presentation by Marc I. Hoit, Ph.D., F.SEI, F.ASCE, chair of the Continuing Education Blue Sky Task Committee, in which he shared the committee’s aspirational vision for ASCE as the “premier provider of education on infrastructure and the environment,” with 5 points of emphasis focused primarily on ensuring compelling high-quality content:
- Be more global in our education efforts.
- Provide differentiated content that is compelling, relevant, contemporary, and unique.
- Partner and collaborate to provide even better and broader learning opportunities.
- Tailor content, offerings, and means of access.
- Certify providers to ensure quality and validate learning.
Hoit suggested that ASCE unify all of its continuing education offerings under a consistent “ASCE Learning” brand to heighten awareness, and offered 10 specific recommendations stemming from a year of discussion with input from various groups. The Board accepted the report and the Society will now develop a strategy for implementing the recommendations over the next 5 years.
Also on a busy agenda, the Board considered the potential for changes in ASCE’s role in the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Three ASCE representatives to the ABET board, Stephen J. Ressler, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, Thomas A. Lenox, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, and Wayne R. Bergstrom, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, provided the Board with an overview on ASCE’s involvement in ABET accreditation for civil engineering programs. In addition, the Board of Direction voted to oppose proposed amendments to the ABET constitution that would create a smaller top-tier ABET board of directors which would not include ASCE representatives, and move ASCE’s presence to a new, larger board of delegates. The Board of Direction emphasized the Society’s intention to fully support implementation of the ABET governance change if it is ultimately approved.
The proposed Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute took a critical step toward a provisional launch as the Board authorized development of a business plan and bylaws, and called on the Committee on Technical Advancement to prepare a 2025 Vision of the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute report, both for consideration by the Board at its July meeting.
Meeting with ASCE’s Committee on Sustainability, the Board approved a set of 4 goals for the committee:
- Transform how infrastructure is conceived, delivered, and operated to enable a sustainable future.
- Establish ASCE as the trusted leader and preferred resource for sustainable civil engineering practices.
- Make Envision the broadly adopted framework for sustainable infrastructure.
- Expand the capacity of civil engineers to create relationships of trust and respect.
The Raise the Bar Committee discussed with the Board how to best mobilize regional and local committees to work with states to adopt the master’s or equivalent educational requirement for future licensure. Additional discussion focused on the long-term strategy to move the initiative forward.
The Board elected a new class of Distinguished Members. The class of 2015 includes
- Lawrence C. Bank, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
- Paul F. Boulos, Ph.D., Hon.D.WRE, Dist.D.NE, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE
- Rafael L. Bras, Sc.D., P.E., Hon.D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE
- Barry J. Goodno, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE
- Thomas T. Hsu, Ph.D., P.E., Dists.M.ASCE
- Thomas J. Hughes, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, NAS, NAE
- Thomas Iseley, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
- Roberto T. Leon, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE
- Sue McNeil, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
- Ronald M. Noble, P.E., D.CE, D.PE, D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE
- Vijay Singh, D.Sc., P.E., Hon.D.WRE, F.EWRI, Dist.M.ASCE
- Pol D. Spanos, Ph.D., P.E., F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE
- George Z. Voyiadjis, D.Eng.Sc., F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE
The Board also received an update from the Industry Leaders Council on its work to foster the optimization of infrastructure investments for the Society, and was presented with an interim report from the Task Committee on Governance Activity Review which focused on continuous governance improvement efforts.