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The Raise the Bar Initiative: Charting the Future by Understanding the Path to the Present - An Overview

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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

Reflections on the “Raise the Bar” Initiative (Part I) - Using a Decade of Experience to Chart the Future

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1330.1 - 25.1330.72



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey S. Russell University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Jeffrey S. Russell, Ph.D., P.E., is Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning and Dean of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW). In this role, Russell is responsible for leading the university’s programs and services for lifelong learners and nontraditional students. Prior to assuming his current position, Russell served as professor and Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the UW. In addition to his position as Vice Provost, Russell serves as a professor in the CEE Department, focusing on construction management, innovative project delivery systems, and construction automation and robotics. He received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin. Russell began his academic career in 1989 as an Assistant Professor in the CEE Department. Over the past 22 years, he has earned a reputation as a leader in education, research, and service to the civil engineering profession through championing diversity, leadership, innovation, and enhanced education for future civil engineers.He is Co-founder of the Construction Engineering and Management program at UW, Madison, one of only seven programs accredited by ABET, Inc. He has advised more than 100 graduate students, including 26 Ph.D. students, and served as Principal or Co-principal investigator for more than $14 million of publicly and privately funded research. Russell is a respected researcher, author, and editor. He has published more than 200 technical papers in the areas of contractor failure, prequalification, surety bonds, constructability, automation, maintainability, warranties, and quality control/quality assurance. In addition, he has authored and published two books: Constructor Prequalification (1996) and Surety Bonds for Construction Contracts (2000). Russell served as Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering (1995-2000) and as founding Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE publication Leadership and Management in Engineering (2000-2003), during which time he organized special issues on diversity, public policy, career management, globalization, and information technology. He has been honored with a number of national and regional awards and nine best paper awards. Russell’s awards include the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator (1990), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Collingwood Prize (1991), ASCE Edmund Friedman Young Engineering Award (1993), ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (1996), ASCE Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize (1996), Outstanding Researcher of the Construction Industry Institute (2000), ASCE President’s Medal (2003), NSF Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (2004), Engineering News Record Newsmaker (1996 and 2005), ASCE William H. Wisely Civil Engineer Award (2005), National Society of Professional Engineers Engineering Education Excellence Award (2005), Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers Engineering Educator Award (2007), ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEED) Leadership Award in Education (2007), Distinguished Membership of ASCE (2009), Wisconsin Distinguished Service Award ASCE WI section (2009), ASEE George Wadlin Service Award (2010), the Peurifoy Research Award (2010), and the Mentor of the Year Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers. He served on the ASCE Board of Direction (1997-2000) and was recently elected to the National Academy of Construction. Russell is presently Chair of the ASCE Committee on Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice. The committee is charged with defining the future education requirements necessary to practice civil engineering at the professional level. Throughout his career, Russell has dedicated his efforts to make engineering education more meaningful and more relevant. He has been a consistent advocate for elevating engineering education expectations for tomorrow’s graduates, necessary to better prepare them for the challenges of a complex, interconnected world, and to compete more effectively in the global economy.

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Thomas A. Lenox Ph.D. American Society of Civil Engineers

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Tom Lenox has more than 41 years of experience as a leader, team builder, and manager in diverse professional and academic environments. During his 28-year military career, he spent 15 years on the engineering faculty of the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, including five years as the Director of the Civil Engineering Division. As Director of the Civil Engineering Division at USMA, Lenox supervised 19 faculty in the ABET-accredited Civil Engineering program. He was the USMA nominee for the 1997 Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year Award. He served as Chair of both the Civil Engineering Division and the Middle-Atlantic Section of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and as a member of ASCE’s Educational Activities Committee. Lenox also served as Co-principal Instructor of the NSF-supported Teaching Teachers to Teach Engineering (T4E) workshops at West Point in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Army on Oct. 1, 1998, Lenox joined the staff of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In his position as Educational Staff Leader of ASCE, Lenox led several new educational initiatives, collectively labeled as Project ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education). A notable example is the ExCEEd Teaching Workshop, a nationally recognized workshop that develops inexperienced faculty into effective teachers and role models for the civil engineering profession. He continues to be very active in ASEE and other associations that foster teaching excellence and has written numerous papers, made presentations, and run workshops dedicated to engineering educational reform. Currently, as ASCE’s Executive Vice President (Professional and Educational Strategic Initiatives), Lenox is leading several educational and professional career-development projects for the civil engineering profession, with the overall objective of properly preparing individuals for their futures as civil engineers. A prime example is Lenox’s staff leadership of ASCE’s initiative to “Raise the Bar” for entry into professional practice. Lenox received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, master's of science degree from Cornell University, master's of business administration degree from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. degree from Lehigh University. He is also a graduate of a number of Army service and specialty schools to include Airborne, Ranger, Jumpmaster, Field Artillery Officer Advanced, Command and General Staff, and the Army War College. Recent awards include the ASCE’s ExCEEd Leadership Award, ASEE’s George K. Wadlin Award, ASCE’s William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award, and the CE News’ “2010 Power List – 15 People Advancing the Civil Engineering Profession.” Tom is married to Jane O’Connor Lenox. They have three adult children, two grandchildren, and one grandpuppy. Contact Information:
Thomas A. Lenox, Ph.D., M.ASCE, Executive Vice President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20194. Email:; Phone: 703-295-6191.

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference; San Antonio, Texas; June 10-13, 2012 The “Raise the Bar” Initiative: Charting the Future by Understanding the Path to the Present – An OverviewBeginning in 1995 at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Civil EngineeringEducation Conference (CEEC ’95), key educational and professional leaders of the civilengineering community in the United States have been working to reform civilengineering education. In 1998, the call for action from CEEC ’95 ultimately resulted inthe passage of ASCE Policy Statement 465—Academic Prerequisites for Licensure andProfessional Practice. ASCE Policy 465 states that, in the future, education beyond thebaccalaureate degree will be necessary for entry into the professional practice of civilengineering. In 2002, an ASCE Board-level committee, the Committee on AcademicPrerequisites for Professional Practice (CAP^3), was formed to study and implement theactions that would be necessary to achieve this vision for civil engineering. The last tenyears have produced significant progress in ASCE’S “Raise the Bar” initiative.To maintain the initiative’s momentum, the successful processes of the past and theassociated “lessons learned” must be clearly communicated to future leaders andproponents of the “Raise the Bar” initiative. Much has been learned from theexperiences of the past – and these hard-learned experiences should guide the futuredirection of the initiative. A quotation (from Adlai E. Stevenson) comes to mind: “We canchart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to thepresent.”This is one of several scholarly papers that will be written and presented inrecognition of the tenth anniversary of establishing CAP^3. The collective paperswill provide engineering educators and practitioners with a description of thehistory, lessons learned, and next steps related to the “raise the bar" initiative.These papers will be written from six different, yet related, perspectives including the(1) overall initiative, (2) civil engineering bodies of knowledge, (3) changed universitycurricula, (4) draft experiential guidelines, (5) revised accreditation criteria, and (6)modified licensure laws and rules. This paper will provide the summary of the overallinitiative as witnessed and experienced by three long-term leaders of CAP^3.COORDINATING NOTE:This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, thecoordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s program for the CE Division of ASEE in2012. It should be considered for inclusion in the session that Tom Lenox is organizingand moderating.

Russell, J. S., & Lenox, T. A. (2012, June), The Raise the Bar Initiative: Charting the Future by Understanding the Path to the Present - An Overview Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22087

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