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Toward A Kinder, Gentler Abet

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Best Zone Papers

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1315.1 - 9.1315.7

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Paper Authors

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David Clough

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Toward a Kinder, Gentler ABET

David E. Clough

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309-0424


The thesis of this presentation is that the ABET 2000 process is beset with problems in design and execution that will inevitably lead to significant change within the next few years. ABET 2000, however well intended, is entirely too burdensome for the benefits it delivers, and its burdens are well beyond the constraints placed on an engineering faculty at a research-oriented university.

We will review in brief how ABET arrived at its current state and present evidence that educational initiatives must align with the goals and objectives of the research faculty at major universities for those initiatives to have lasting impact there. Frank, anonymous feedback from a cross-section of engineering faculty will reveal that ABET 2000 is in trouble, lacking the grassroots faculty support necessary for a stable accreditation system. The claim will be put forward that any such system must derive broad support, from more than a few true believers, and must not reflect a faddish wave of buzzwords.

To conclude, we will present a few notions of a revised accreditation process that could be, at once, less burdensome on faculty and universities, and more effective than ABET 2000 because of the broad support it might engender. The nature of this presentation will be to stimulate lively follow-on debate and discussion at the conference.


Background and perspective – where am I coming from on this? ABET 2000 is in deep trouble – a research faculty view Teaching, research and how to achieve educational change (& improvement) Proposal for change in ABET – an acceptable, effective scheme

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Clough, D. (2004, June), Toward A Kinder, Gentler Abet Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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