Protection of the public is a natural extension of the community service I have been involved in for most of my life. It is a great time to be involved in this ongoing effort to support our mission of protecting the public. Today we celebrate our forward progress and try to look into our crystal ball to see the challenges that we will be facing in the future.
To that end, there are several key items I want to emphasize in the coming year:
- Looking to the future: I am standing up a new task force on the future, to be chaired by
our FY17 President, Kristine Harding, NCARB, AIA. I expect this task force to do a lot of listening and questioning, and provide a wealth of information that can be utilized and incorporated into our efforts in the coming years. We all are watching the world around us evolve and change at an ever-accelerating pace. It is not a question of whether we as regulators are going to have to change and keep pace. The question is how do we need to change to keep pace?
- Protecting architecture: I also want us to revisit a topic we attempted to address a number of years ago that many of you have identified as an issue that is increasingly before us again: the use and meaning of the term “interior architecture.” More schools are using this as a degree title referring to interior design. We need to develop a clear position on this issue and speak clearly on our position. I want to make sure that this time around, our volunteers get the full attention of our Board and that their efforts also get a full hearing from their peers.
- Supporting supervisors: The role of the supervisor is a topic receiving focus from multiple committees and work groups. This coming year, I’m issuing new charges to bring this topic more into focus. I am asking that we determine what kind of training and what requirements would encourage greater and more meaningful engagement between supervisors and their licensure candidates. At the same time, let’s do this in a way that does not discourage the mentoring and coaching of those who will be sitting in these seats after us.
- Optimize the Certificate: At the 2017 Annual Business Meeting, we sought feedback from our members regarding future approaches for the NCARB Certificate. Wherever we end up, I want to make sure that the Certificate not only has value to our Certificate holders, but also represents the value of licensure to both the public and those who utilize architectural services. We will also continue to look for ways to fully optimize the ability of the Certificate to facilitate reciprocal licensure.
- Shaping our strategy: And speaking of facilitating licensure, I look forward to a year where we come a step closer to refreshing our strategic plan by listening to you as we anticipate your future needs and those of the Council.
As you’ll find in Treasurer Terry L. Allers’ report, we have a planned deficit this coming year to support the delivery of two exams while maintaining our focus on going further for the profession. I endorse this approach and consider this a temporary cash flow matter, much like cash flow issues that many of us experience in our practices. We saw this coming and carefully saved excess revenue in reserves for this situation. Thanks to the growing popularity of our programs, as well as the benefits of both smart planning and investment, we have the ability
to work through this temporary deficit while maintaining our momentum and improvement
Importantly, this budget will still allow us to do some exciting and essential things in the
- Professional practice: We plan to focus on the function of professional practice in the academy through a survey and by offering a new forum to focus on best practices for educators. This will strengthen an area of education that directly relates to preparing students for licensure and does not always pass muster for accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
- Mentoring students: We want to continue our support of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Freedom by Design initiative, which brings hope to those with limitations and access to public and private spaces for all. It links together fulfillment of and compliance with the Architectural Experience Program (AXP™) requirements, as well as mentoring of students by architects from our Member Boards.
- Encouraging partnership: We plan to experiment with on-boarding new Member Board Members who share disciplinary focus with landscape architects, partnering with the
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) to create a face-to-face
- A successful sunset: We will oversee the sunset of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 4.0 in June of 2018, and I want to take a moment to thank all who worked so hard to successfully transition the exam to ARE 5.0. ARE 4.0 has had a great run and is finishing strong. At the same time, we look forward to marketing and delivering the new ARE 5.0 and its focus on phases of practice.
- Continued progress: And we hope that as our streamlined programs gain traction, we will continue to see the steady reduction of the average time to licensure. Between our growing Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative, the redesigned AXP, and the new alternatives to certification, we are seeing steady growth and increased diversity in the licensure and reciprocal licensure candidate pools.
I also have no doubt that the complicated issues being debated by our volunteer committees and task forces will deliver important resolutions this time next year when we meet in Detroit. It will be a fast and productive year, and I’m honored to be part of it.
Note: This report is adapted from First Vice President Gregory L. Erny’s 2017 Annual Business Meeting speech.