June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1043.1 - 13.1043.15
Researchers and Practitioners: A Dual Track Path to Tenure That Works
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has published the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK) for the 21st Century and has produced a draft version of the follow-on BOK II, both which attempt to define the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of a civil engineer. A section of that document addresses who should teach this body of knowledge. It concludes that civil engineering faculty must be scholars, effective teachers, practitioners, and role models. In most universities, practitioners are included on the faculty as adjunct professors. They are paid less and are not viewed as full-fledged partners. The Architectural Engineering program at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo is one of the few exceptions where practitioners with a master’s degree in structural engineering, a structural engineering license, and a decade or more of experience in industry have an equal path to tenure.
This paper cites the advantages and disadvantages of this program and addresses the most often expressed concerns for this alternative. Such issues as the professional development and scholarship components of the tenure process, the role of consulting, the integration of practitioners into the faculty, the value of their contacts to industry, and the types of classes the practitioners teach are all addressed. The purpose is to describe a model that other universities may wish to consider as the profession debates the CE faculty of the future.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has defined the Body of Knowledge (BOK) that describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become a licensed professional engineer1,2. The BOK is presented in the form of 15 outcomes that prescribe the necessary breadth and depth of knowledge required for a practicing civil engineer.
A section of the BOK addresses who should teach this body of knowledge. It concludes that civil engineering faculty must be scholars, effective teachers, practitioners, and role models. While true, there are a number of complex issues that arise such as whether it is possible for one person to possess all of these attributes and whether such a model best serves the projected trends in civil engineering education.
Estes and Welch3 attempted to identify the most appropriate faculty of the future with respect to each of the required outcomes in the BOK. Their approach is illustrated in Table 1 which lists the 15 outcomes that comprise this body of knowledge. For each BOK outcome, the effort considered four categories of faculty members including a faculty member with only a bachelor’s degree, but with at least 15 years of relevant experience as a practicing civil engineer. The bold xx indicates that the person is best qualified to teach a particular outcome; a single x indicates
Estes, A., & Nuttall, B., & McDaniel, C. (2008, June), Researchers And Practitioners: A Dual Track Path To Tenure That Works Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3691
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