Keeping our members up-to-date on what is happening at headquarters as well as providing links to Board of Director's meeting minutes.
With the leadership of new Managing Director of Finance and CFO Joe Dillon (Joe joined us in August 2015), our financial team has been making great strides on catching up on key filings and reports that had fallen behind due to significant turnover. We welcome the stability.
As had been previously communicated, ASEE's FY 2014 closed with a reported loss of or $1.2 million, due in large part to a “rolling up” of prior year adjustments to revenue (e.g., writing off bad debt that extended back to at least 2002). I am happy to report that our projection for FY 2015 (though not-yet audited) is a positive balance.
ASEE's headquarters commitment to reduce expenditures by $750K has been nearly met, with $691K either incurred or marked for cuts. Our efforts to further reduce costs are underway, with more savings to be realized in FY 2017.
I'm happy to report that at our Winter Board of Directors meeting in late February, the Board voted to make the Society Year 2016-2017 the Year of Action on P12 Education. I look forward to the various activities and products that our dedicated members, lead by the P12 Committee of the Board, will roll out during this period.
A subset of actions taken by the ASEE Board this Society Year include the following:
Our Strategic Doing process is ongoing, with teams actively meeting via conference call and a website dedicated to Strategic Doing ideas and feedback. President Joe Rencis has begun to investigate a process to prioritize and budget for various requests that will emerge from these teams and overseeing their progress so the board can assist with goals.
Lastly, early metrics indicate that our 2016 annual conference in New Orleans is going to be one of our most highly attended ever. I hope to see you there.
I think now is a time to be optimistic about ASEE's future. We are finding financial footing after several years of losses, our members are engaged and active, engineering education has grown in prominence as an area of national attention and concern, and the products and services ASEE offers to its members have never been more diverse or far reaching.
I hope to see you in New Orleans.
Norman L. Fortenberry
Prism editor Mark Matthews calls attention to important content in our March/April issue:
Back in 2004, Prism profiled Marc Edwards after the Virginia Tech civil and environmental engineer found high lead levels in the District of Columbia's water supply and faulted the local utility and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to alert the public. With the help of graduate students, he pinpointed the cause of the contamination: chloramine, a disinfectant that leaches the lead out of lead pipes. A dozen years later, Edwards once again has exposed a combination of lead contamination and bad official judgment—this time in the Flint, Michigan water supply. Prism Deputy Editor Mary Lord had an idea: Why not find other engineering academics who confront bureaucracy and powerful interests to serve the public?
The result is “Off-campus Crusaders,” in which Pierre Home-Douglas's account of the Flint crisis is packaged alongside stories about seven other engineering researchers willing to step into the spotlight, putting their skills to a public purpose and their reputations on the line. They include Robert Bea of the University of California, Berkeley, who tangled with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following Hurricane Katrina, Heather Stapleton of Duke University, who has alerted the public and policymakers to the danger of chemical flame retardants widely used in furniture and other household goods, and Philip Koopman, of Carnegie Mellon, who identified the software flaws behind fatal car crashes.
You'll be receiving Prism in the mail or electronically very soon.
The Engineering Research Council held its annual conference on March 7-9 in Washington, DC. The meeting provided associate deans for research an overview of federal R&D budgets and upcoming priorities, as leaders from federal research funding organizations and policy organizations discussed R&D trends and upcoming new programs and priorities.
Workshops and panels for 2016 included:
The Engineering Deans Institute will be held at the end of March in San Francisco. Topics at EDI will include Commercialization and IP, innovation, and diversity and inclusion. The event will take advantage of being located near Silicon Valley and will draw on many industry luminaries for speakers and panel members. Participants include Henry Samueli of Broadcom, Lloyd Carney of Brocade, and Vint Cerf of Google. In addition, University of California President Janet Napolitano will moderate a session.
ASEE has recently created a database on student retention data from over 150 colleges of engineering. This collection is the first of its kind and very timely, as the nation boosts efforts to increase the number of students
Access to the reliable, broad-based data compiled by ASEE is essential for determining whether retention should be a concern at a given institution, and, if so, for developing successful retention strategies. Engineering programs also need the ability to benchmark themselves against their peers and the national standards.
The database, a continuation of a pilot effort started five years ago, is currently only accessible by those institutions who participated in supplying data; there is no fee for participating in the survey, which will be open bi-annually during the summer. (The next opportunity to participate will be summer 2017.) Participating institutions will receive one free national retention benchmark report of all participant institutions. For an additional fee schools may choose two tools to create their own benchmarks: one of these tools allows schools to create national benchmarks based on characteristics of schools (i.e. public vs. private, or school Carnegie classification); the second tool allows schools to create benchmarks based on peer schools they select. Those interested in more information should contact Brian Yoder at email@example.com.
Meeting minutes here.