2013 ACSA Administrators Conference November 14-16, 2013 | Providence, RI
Host School: Rhode Island School of Design
Co-chairs: William Morrish, Parsons The New School for Design; Pradeep Sharma, Rhode Island School of Design

Photo by Steven Baumgartner 
THANK YOU to our co-chairs, William Morrish and Pradeep Sharma, New Administrators Workshop leaders, Jori Erdman and Frances Bronet, host school Rhode Island School of Design and all those who participated in this year's Administrators Conference. Here are some highlights from the ACSA Lunch session on Friday:

NCARB Items. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards President Blake Dunn and CEO Mike Armstrong announced Florida Atlantic University, Kansas State University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst as recipients of $25,000 NCARB Awards. More information can be found on the NCARB website.

Mike Armstrong summarized the work of NCARB’s Licensure Task Force—ACSA President Norman Millar is a member—which is exploring new models of licensure, including the possibility of licensure upon graduation. Read the NCARB press release about the task force here.

NAAB Conditions. Patricia Kucker, treasurer of the NAAB and a member of the team that authored the first draft of the 2014 Conditions for Accreditation, summarized the process.

Millar gave an overview of the recent draft ACSA positions on the Conditions and asked schools to share their thoughts through an online survey or via email to by November 22. 

Among key issues for review:

  • A new table of credit hour distributions for the various degree paths.
  • The new realm for the Student Performance Criteria called “Integrated Architectural Solutions” and an SPC called “Integrative Design,” which replaces Comprehensive Design.
  • The proposed change that would allow for accreditation of international programs by providing an alternative to having university-level regional accreditation.

NAAB Funding. The four collaterals—ACSA, AIA, NCARB, and AIAS—fund the NAAB. ACSA, AIA and NCARB each currently provide approximately $440,000 in support, with AIAS providing approximately $16,000. This year NAAB presented a three-year funding proposal which the collaterals were not able to agree on. ACSA created a blue sky task force of the five collaterals, which first met on October 28, to discuss the funding and governance models for the NAAB, beginning from the 1940 founding agreement. 

In addition to reviewing historic documents, we used a facilitator to support and guide our conversations. Each collateral had an opportunity to speak privately with the facilitator in advance of the meeting to provide background, highlight concerns, and identify options.

The conversation on the 28th was open and candid. The group explored a number of ideas, and reached no conclusions at this time. We continue to engage in a number of serious conversations to seek a solution that will better serve architectural programs, students, and the profession as a whole. ACSA has created an advisory committee of administrators to discuss potential options once they become known publicly. If you wish to join this group, please contact Michael Monti,  

We expect the collateral task force work to continue through the winter, and plan to have an announcement at the Annual Meeting in Miami, if not before.

ACSA Data Collection Initiatives. The number one thing that our members have been requesting of the ACSA is data. The number one thing that is most difficult to get from our members is data. Millar introduced Dr. Lian Chang, Director of Research and Information and described the ACSA Data Collection and Research Advisory Committee, composed of faculty and administrators who will help guide the ACSA on expanding areas in which to collect quantitative and qualitative data.

Career Outcomes. ACSA is inviting schools to participate in a Career Outcomes survey. We need to have a valid answer to the question “Where are graduates going?” Participating schools will be asked to send recent graduates to an online survey with a set of standard questions as well as additional questions created by the school. ACSA will set up the survey, but schools control the mailing list and get 100% access to the results. Schools can view and comment on the survey by December 2.

ACSA will publish summaries of the results, and schools that participate will get additional information from aggregated results. If we get enough schools, we will be able to do more specific analyses based on school and respondent types.

Hot Topics
Millar reported on the ACSA board’s outreach to schools in three areas.

  • How ACSA can support schools on meeting accreditation conditions such as comprehensive design.
  • How schools are working to improve ethnic, gender, and economic diversity in students and faculty.
  • How to get the message out to the broader public that majoring in architecture is a good long-term career decision.

Activities in response to these areas are the following:

  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Saturday’s lunch and panel discussion on Widening the Pipeline to the Profession will focus on ways that schools work with community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and non-NAAB accredited preprofessional programs.
  • A communications campaign to highlight to prospective students, parents, school counselors, and others what it means to go to architecture school and why it is so valuable.