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Importance of Advisory Boards in Program Development and Management

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

ETD Design I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.739.1 - 25.739.11



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Paper Authors


Shekar Viswanathan National University

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Shekar Viswanathan is the Chair and professor of the Applied Engineering Department at National University. He has more than 30 years of academic and industry experience.

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Importance of Advisory Boards in Program Development and ManagementAbstractDeveloping and managing technical academic programs, successfully, has become increasinglychallenging in today’s fast-paced global environment. In part to help meet these challenges,many engineering colleges and departments are utilizing advisory boards, and these boards ofexternal advisors are becoming an important part of most academic institutions. Theeffectiveness of such boards varies widely and depends on multiple factors, ranging from thegoals of academic administrators, to the composition (membership) of the board, to the boardscharter, and so forth. Making an advisory board an effective body requires that all aspects bewell planned and executed. This paper reports on the approach adopted in XXXXXXUniversity’s School of Engineering, Technology and Media for developing and managingprograms using the help of advisory boards. Founded in 1971, XXXXX (XX) is an independent,nonprofit institution of higher education dedicated to providing high quality educationalopportunities to a diverse population of adult learners.XX’s School of Engineering, Technology and Media (SETM), since its inception in 2002, hasorganized and used advisory boards to guide the development and ongoing management of itsprograms. The school’s goal has been to develop and maintain exceptional programs that enableand facilitate the success of its graduates and alumni in their careers. To achieve this goal,advisory boards are constituted both at the school level and at the individual program level. Inaddition to assisting in design and development of curricula and in specifying and acquiringappropriate resources, these advisory boards can also serve as an effective mechanism fortransferring best practices and ‘lessons learned’ from industry to academics. Each advisory board(one for each key program) consists of recognized industry, government, and academic experts.In addition to roles noted above, the boards’ roles in program management include providing anobjective overview of programs, offering technical and program advice to the faculty andadministrators, and improving the quality and consistency of programs across the school. In thispaper, the roles and responsibilities of several advisory boards constituted within the engineeringschool will be described to show how such boards are being effectively used for programdevelopment and management.

Viswanathan, S. (2012, June), Importance of Advisory Boards in Program Development and Management Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21496

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