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from the student director

the magnitude of change by tony p. vanky

A summer in Washington, DC brings with it a variety of changes—the temperature rises, the coats disappear and the tourists arrive in full force. So too, a new student director emerges wide-eyed from the ranks of learner to become an advocate for their peers. It is again summer and I thank Catherine McNeel who has served dutifully as the Student Director for the ACSA in 2006-2007. Now I emerge wide-eyed to assume the position.

The excitement of this directorship is within the element of change. While Washington ebbs and flows seasonally, the changes within our profession are profound and fundamental. With the conversations of integrated practice, environmental and social sensitivity, research and a handful of other topics, the future of architectural education and practice will be radically different than what we know of it today. I am optimistic that answers can be found. That does not mean I am not indignant that many questions were not asked before. Recently I graduated and packed my bags from the hallowed ground of Tulane University. In my first three years in New Orleans I, like everyone else in the city, knew the city was going to be hit by “the big one” at some point. In those three years, it was to be Isidore, Lili and Ivan that was the doomsday scenario. No one knew it was going to be in my fourth year with Katrina.

It was inevitability at work- if not August 29, then some other day. And the change was difficult. The tragedy of Katrina was a failure to ask the right questions, especially when we knew what the worst would be. Similarly, accelerated global climate change is our failure to ask the right questions early enough. The current rise in greenhouse gases, melting icecaps and the general spoilage of our planet has not come as a surprise, but rather a sleeping giant over the past several decades leaving us to make drastic decisions reactively. Concerns of mass-urbanization are now resulting in us finally asking the difficult questions that could severely affect billions of people. As a result, my generation will live in a profoundly different world. We are the ones who must live the results of our answers. Whether New Orleans and developing cities around the world will be designed as a sustainable and safe community is yet to be determined. It is my belief that the time for passive observation is over. We can no longer defer risk to others and hope that politicians, developers, and any slew of other groups have the right answers, or even ask the right questions. And as the cherry blossoms have bloomed and fallen away, the winds of change are a reminder that I have accepted an awesome challenge.

naab news

NAAB Names New Executive Director


The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) has appointed Andrea S. Rutledge, CAE, as its executive director effective October 1, 2007. Rutledge comes to NAAB from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), where she is managing director of alliances, a position in which she worked with a range of AIA member segments including the College of Fellows, the Young Architects Forum, traditionally underrepresented groups, emerging professionals, and architecture educators. Andrea Rutledge

Her previous experience includes positions as vice president for policy and planning at Olivet College, planning and development coordinator at the Institute

for Educational Leadership in Washington, DC, and director of the administrative office of The White House. Rutledge has also taught courses at Olivet College and Catholic University of America. Rutledge is a Certified Association Executive and earned an MFA from Catholic University of America and a BA, magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Rutledge replaces Sharon C. Matthews, who will continue working in architectural accreditation both in the United States and internationally through a consulting relationship with the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education in Washington, DC.

ACSA News September 2007  
ACSA News September 2007  

ACSA News, published monthly during the academic year (September through May), serves the essential function of exchanging timely informatio...