Published in 2008 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings, June 22, 2008, pages 13.1043.1-13.1043.15.
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.
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