Dean Cynthia Paschal holds council chair positions for ABET, ASEE

Cynthia Paschal, senior associate dean for undergraduate education in the School of Engineering, is the chair of the Academic Advisory Council of ABET, and she is serving as co-chair elect of the Undergraduate Experience Council of the Engineering Dean’s Council of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Cynthia Paschal

ABET accredits college and university programs around the world in the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

The AAC provides ABET leadership with access to academic viewpoints on issues of accreditation under all four ABET commissions— applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The council also provides a formal means for the academic community to give advice and communicate with the ABET leadership on proposed programs, procedures and policies relating to higher education.

“It is an honor to fill this leadership role, especially following the great leadership of the former chair, Jeff Ray, a Vanderbilt alumnus,” Paschal said. “Currently, the AAC is deeply engaged in contributing academic viewpoints and ideas to the very important work of how diversity, equity, and inclusion will be addressed in the accreditation process.  We are also working on how to simplify some of the work involved in seeking accreditation.”

The council currently includes 13 members who are provosts, deans, associate deans, and other academic leaders representing different types of institutions (public, private, research, teaching, 4-year, 2-year, etc.), programs around the world, and interests in the four ABET commissions.

ABET is a federation of 35 professional societies that govern policy, establish strategy, develop criteria and guide accreditation activities on behalf of their respective professions. These societies represent more than 1.5 million professionals located in nearly every country of the world.

Today, the organization accredits more than 4,000 college and university programs at 850 universities in 41 countries.

The ASEE advances innovation, excellence, and access at all levels of education for the engineering profession. ASEE holds an annual conference where nearly 4000 educators, exhibitors, presenters, and more gather and collaborate as well as an annual Engineering Deans Public Policy Colloquium at its Engineering Deans Institute in Washington, DC, convenes regional conferences, publishes the Journal of Engineering Education and Advances in Engineering Education, and oversees numerous fellowships and internships.

The UEC appointment is a six-year progressive term, two years as co-chair elect, two years as co-chair, and two years as past co-chair.  The UEC connects deans and associate deans deeply engaged in undergraduate engineering education and plans specific sessions at the ASEE annual conference that focus on issues in undergraduate engineering education.  Examples of past and present sessions include student mental health, immigration issues, academic integrity, diversity-equity-inclusion, and the challenges students face during the COVID pandemic.

Contact:  Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314

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