Board of Direction Prioritizes Member Value

October 18, 2018

In a strong show of emphasis on member value, the ASCE Board of Direction voted at its quarterly meeting to prioritize one goal for the Society above all others – the goal assuring that “an ever-growing number of people in the civil engineering realm are members of, and engage in, ASCE.”

The Board over the last two years has developed a strategic plan for the Society, approving six goals and more than 40 strategies to attain those goals. At its recent meeting, the Board also approved more than 100 key performance indicators to measure the success of those strategies.

Membership – as evidenced by the Board’s decision to define its top goal – is at the core of the entire plan.

“Our members are the most important thing to us,” said ASCE President Kristina Swallow. “We need to make sure everything we’re doing is driving member value, so that we can continue to stay at the forefront of our profession.

“We can’t achieve anything else if we don’t have satisfied, engaged members. It’s so important that we brought that goal forward and actively said, ‘This is our No. 1, most important goal.’”

Along those same lines, the Board also voted to approve a package of expanded member benefits for the 2019 membership year. These include substantially increasing the number of free webinars available to members each year and allowing members to select from ASCE’s broader catalog of on-demand webinars; expanding support for Younger Member training; and a new online career onboarding portal that includes a suite of career resources.

“Some of the benefits are small, some of them are big,” Swallow said. “But each is meant to further engage our members and help them understand the value of being part of ASCE.”

More Board meeting highlights:

• The Board heard from a panel of diverse Society leaders on protecting the public health, safety and welfare, and engaged in a robust dialogue about the future role of ASCE and the profession.

• The Board heard from Ken Fridley and Decker Hains, leaders of the Body of Knowledge 3 Task Committee, about the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge third edition, set for publication in 2019. The updated version outlines the necessary skills civil engineers must acquire through undergraduate and postgraduate education, but takes an increasingly holistic approach that highlights the importance of mentored experience and self-development.

• Jerry Buckwalter gave the Board a progress report on phase one of the Future World Vision project. During the last six months, consultants prepared a wealth of research, reports, and data-projecting trends and potential outcomes and scenarios for the civil engineering industry and world at large. The Board will now work to determine the best ways to use and share this data, while also potentially moving forward with more research, visualization, and related projects.

• The Board also received an update from the Task Committee on Student Competitions, recently formed to develop new ASCE student competitions in the aftermath of the American Institute of Steel Construction’s split with ASCE on the student steel bridge competition. ASCE, under the Task Committee’s guidance, launched two new competitions last month – a Sustainable Solutions Competition and the Blue Sky Competitions Contest. The Task Committee continues to evaluate ASCE’s student competition landscape, exploring other opportunities for future competitions.

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