Kristine Harding, NCARB, AIA
2016–2017 President/Chair of the Board
2nd Vice President
1st Vice President
Note: This report is adapted from President Kristine A. Harding’s 2017 Annual Business Meeting speech.
As I reflect on this past year, I think about the many engagements I have had with our members at NCARB meetings, during their service as Member Board Members or committee volunteers, or in a conference hallway, at a restaurant, on the phone, or riding on an event bus. Engagement is so very important to us as a community and as an organization.
So that is where I would like to start—let us reflect on where we left off a year ago when I first began my role as NCARB president. We were debating 10 resolutions; we were working on programmatic improvements at multiple levels; and, we were seeking ways to assure that no matter what perspective our Member Boards have, NCARB wants to listen, grow, and improve in the arena of building community.
It is important to know that changes under consideration are not decided in a vacuum or without considerable study over multiple years. This is especially critical for those of you who are new to participating in NCARB activities: we believe that deliberation, consensus, and debate best position us for effective implementation.
Therefore, I committed to redoubling efforts to engage with you in a way that ties us closer together. We worked on this through previewing our Board discussions and empowering our regional directors as effective liaisons. Our efforts extended to emphasizing the member perspective in ways big and small. These efforts included facilitating strategic discussions at the 2016 Member Board Chairs & Executives Summit in Columbus, OH, and supporting regional-led presentations at the 2017 Regional Summit in Jersey City, NJ.
We continued the concept of a shared strategic charge for all committees. We convened our committee chairs for a new on-boarding workshop to emphasize a common vision. Additionally, we started two new groups of volunteers:
Our committees, subcommittees, task forces, and work groups did a terrific job this year. This is not an empty compliment; it is a reflection of the quality of the leadership we have in our volunteer pool. They delivered on critical charges that will move us forward in an inclusive and deliberative fashion as we continue to improve our ability to support Member Boards and the public they are charged to protect. Here are some highlights:
Meanwhile, NCARB staff contributed greatly to my efforts and the focus of our
Let us reflect for a moment on how our ability to effectively engage has yielded great results in the past 12 months:
This past year I had the great honor and opportunity to represent NCARB to external groups and to interested parties beyond North America. Last summer I was part of a panel of collateral leaders addressing the challenges of international practice at an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Conference in Santiago, Chile; I also joined my fellow collateral leaders on panels at our 2016 Licensing Advisors Summit in Chicago, at the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Forum in Boston, and the ACSA Annual Meeting in Detroit.
Some of the most rewarding experiences of the year came from talking with and about the next generation of architects. Whether it was talking with architecture students at Ohio State, visiting my alma mater, Rice University, to explore how schools prepare students for licensure, or having dinner conversations with our Think Tank, I came away inspired and challenged!
As the first woman to serve as NCARB president in 20 years, I also had many requests to engage with female licensure candidates and comment on the ongoing issues related to diversity and equity in our profession. Our NCARB by the Numbers data has helped the greater community focus on areas needing a stronger voice for equity and role models. I have been inspired by the new conversation around equity, as a successor to diversity, initiated in San Francisco by Rosa Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and elevated by a commission organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Rosa was featured at our 2017 Licensing Advisors Summit, and I hope many of you were able to there to hear her refreshing and inclusive approach to how we all must—and can—own a more inclusive future for our profession.
We have also tried to move beyond old conversations and unreachable solutions regarding academic accreditation. It is critical that we come into a new realization of the necessity for modernizing accreditation—like we have done with NCARB programs and services—as we nurture and utilize this essential element in the path to licensure.
But still, it all comes back to engagement. It has been such an unforgettable privilege to work with the Board of Directors as we seek consensus on shared vision and goals. Through lots of honest discussion and open-minded attitudes, improved relationships with our fellow collateral leaders have allowed us as a group to step up from a parochial approach to seeking win-win solutions. The frank feedback from many of our Member Board Members and Member Board Executives has continued to sharpen our approach and keep us accountable. And the “no task too small” attitude of our staff and the wonderful office culture they celebrate has made it a joy to visit the Washington, DC, office and a relief to know they’ve had my back.
So as I reflect on all we have done, I must leave with a reflection on what is still to come. I want to challenge each of you to lift your focus toward what is good for us as a community. We all, as dedicated volunteers, must stay off the sidelines.
President John F. Kennedy told us that “time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
I look forward to remaining part of the conversation as we explore the future of architectural regulation, as we focus on tools to help practitioners effectively supervise AXP candidates, as we add value and benefit to certification, and as we stay committed to a deeper engagement with all of you.
Watch President Harding address the
Council at the 2017 NCARB Annual Business Meeting.
Committed to Engagement
A Shared Strategy
A Year of Change
Inspired by the Next Generation
A Stronger Voice for Equity
Focusing on the Work Ahead
In the Profession
Path to Licensure
Partners in Collaboration
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