• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Article: Professors to get a pass on AICP

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I agree. There is no reason faculty should be treated differently. The authors are correct in stating that AICP is a designation for practicing planners and that most faculty have never been in the practice.

I do not have a copy of my November Interact. Can somebody post the link to where we can reply to this proposal?
 
Last edited:

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,413
Points
33
I believe this link will get you there to comment:

http://www.planning.org/aicp/faculty/index.htm?CustomerServiceID=531

No other profession that I'm aware of gives tenured faculty a bye for a certification. Not engineers. Not architects.

There are a lot of planning professors out there that despite having Piled it High and Deep, couldn't pass the AICP certification exam because they lack the practical experience necessary to know how to properly apply what they preach.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,694
Points
69
From the APA site. Note the December 1 deadline for comments. If you're not AICP accredited, and have no access to the comment form, I suggest writing to aicp (at) planning (dot) org.

Tenured Faculty Membership Program

Under the terms of the Tenured Faculty Membership Program, AICP will invite currently tenured faculty in planning programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board to apply to join if they are not already AICP members. In the future, faculty who are granted tenure at PAB-accredited programs will be invited to apply for AICP membership. As with individuals who pass the Comprehensive Planning Examination, their membership in AICP will take effect when they pay APA, chapter, and AICP dues in full.
Responding to changes in the planning academy

AICP developed the Tenured Faculty Membership Program in response to extensive changes in U.S. planning programs. Thirty-five years ago, academic planning departments were "recognized" by the American Institute of Planners. Today, planning programs are accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, a body established by APA and its professional institute, AICP, in concert with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Increasingly, the PAB considers outcomes such as pass rates on the AICP exam when it evaluates a program.

In the early 1970s, many planning faculty were recruited directly from the field of practice and arrived on campus with an AIP credential awarded after an oral interview that served as the threshold exam. Few had doctorates. In 2011, doctoral degrees are common among individuals who join planning faculties at accredited university programs. Research and publication are expected and are key criteria for the grant of tenure. Achieving tenure typically requires an extensive, written application that must be approved at several academic levels such as department, school, and university.

The AICP Commission invites feedback

The AICP Commission would like to hear from members before finalizing the program. Please read the questions and answers below and use the "Contact Us" section that follows to submit additional comments or questions about the Tenured Faculty Membership Program, no later than December 1, 2011.

Q: Who is eligible for the Tenured Faculty Membership Program?
A: Faculty of planning programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board are eligible. Any faculty member in a PAB-accredited planning program may apply once he or she is granted tenure. Faculty members of non PAB-accredited programs are not eligible at this time.

Q: Is passing the Comprehensive Planning Examination required?
A: No. A university's grant of tenure requires an extensive written application that must be approved through a rigorous process that includes votes of approval at several stages. This will be considered as an alternative that is a written examination.

Q: Do these members have to pay AICP dues?
A: Yes. Like all AICP members, they must pay APA, chapter, and AICP dues.

Q: Do these members have to fulfill Certification Maintenance requirements?
A: Yes. Like all AICP members, they must fulfill CM requirements: 32 CM credits every two years, 1.5 of which meet the law requirement and 1.5 of which meet the ethics requirement.

Q: Is the reinstatement process any different for these members?
A: No. Like all AICP members, they must comply with AICP's reinstatement policy. If an individual's membership lapses for more than four years, he or she must follow the application procedures for new AICP membership, which includes passing the Comprehensive Planning Exam.
 

hilldweller

Cyburbian
Messages
3,865
Points
23
Evidently the AICP Commission wants more professors/academics to have the AICP credentials, but this seems to be a poor policy response to that problem.

Dan: Can we forward the Cyburbian comments to the Commission?
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
No-Exam Bylaws Amendment for Planning Faculty

The AICP Commission wants to expand the institute's outreach to the planning academy by offering an alternative path to AICP membership to tenured faculty in programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

The Commission has developed a Tenured Faculty Membership Program that will accept a university's grant of tenure as an alternative to the Comprehensive Planning Examination as a demonstration of the knowledge and skills required for the AICP credential. Academic tenure is granted only after a faculty member completes a rigorous multi-part, multi-level review process that requires extensive written materials that document the applicant's accomplishments.

More information about the Tenured Faculty Membership Program is on our website. The Commission invites AICP member feedback before finalizing the program. Please submit comments online no later than December 1. http://planning.org/interact/aicp/2011/nov.htm ; http://www.planning.org/aicp/faculty/index.htm?CustomerServiceID=531.

I do not agree that Faculty should not be required to take the test.

Moderator note:

merged with existing thread in Make No Small Plans. Left a 3 day redirect to make sure people still find this thread from the Career subforum

SR
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Blide

Cyburbian
Messages
1,186
Points
18
A lot of programs teach for the AICP exam anyways so one would assume the faculty would know enough to be able to successfully pass the test themselves. In reality, I know that isn't the case. Many times the professors have their own little niche in the profession and are largely ignorant of what their colleagues are doing.

I'm honestly kind of conflicted on this one. Tenured professors have no reason to ever expand outside their little research niche so I see no harm in certifying them. On the other hand, they should have a sufficient knowledge base to actually know what is happening in the profession they're supposed to be teaching for. It's not like it'd be that hard for them to study for the exam either.
 

Tobinn

Cyburbian
Messages
325
Points
11
AICP pulling a fast one

Let's face it, AICP has been pulling a fast one since introducing the continuing education credit program. They made the system difficult and "onerous" (word used a few years ago by my local FAPA chapter - Suncoast) to become a credit provider and have pretty much made it so that only they and APA (is there really a difference) are the only ones (for all intents and purposes) who can provide the very credits AICP requires. I have no problem with the requirement to keep learning and improve oneself but to hold a virtual monopoly on the provision of those credits is underhanded and dishonest. Yes, there are opportunities to get free credits. That's about the best I can do as my employer has set budget aside for my attendance at State or National APA conferences.

Can there be any surprise that AICP board is looking to quietly eliminate the testing requirement that the rest of us "little people" had to go through in what really amounts to cronyism. Look, if they can't pass the test then perhaps they shouldn't be teaching the subject. Just a thought. What are they afraid of?

Boy, if this sort of thing doesn't put a bee in my bonnet.
 
Last edited:

Tarf

Cyburbian
Messages
699
Points
14
I also think this is a horrible policy.

In my undergraduate program, the planning portion of the program was horrible and was led by a professor who had no real world experience as a planner. This individual consistently made the claim that "planning is not political." LMAO. Yeah, he deserved AICP for his wisdom alone.

Furthermore, the test already allows university professors to count their teaching experience towards the requirements. Why shouldn't they have to take the test?

Hell, if ANYONE should have to take that test, it should be the very folks who are responsible for creating the next generation of planners.

I wonder how long it will be until there is another organization that can take over for APA's incompetence. I know in California, AEP is pretty darn close to taking that mantle... but that's just California (California's AEP I believe is larger than all other AEP chapters combined, if I'm not mistaken).
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
27
I've submitted my objection to the proposal. I'll drop my objection when I'm granted a PhD for my years of professional practice and the fact that I'm AICP. BTW, isn't a bit unfair that they're going to be expected to pay dues too?

Footnote: At the time that the AICP certification was developed, those members who had a certain number of years of professional experience were "grandfathered" into AICP. I lacked about a year of experience and was not granted certification but was eligible to take the exam. I find it ironic that, as those who were grandfathered in are now retiring or expiring out of the profession, there is a movement to bring another crop of "untested" AICP into the fold.
 
Last edited:

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
Am I understaning this right? Will this cheapen my AICP credential? If so, why the hell am I paying $350 annually plus having to take lots of classes on top of it? Will professors need to take the classes to maintain their AICP? Why would a Prof need an AICP anyway?

Will the Profs that now have thier AICPs be miffed that they had to work harder for it?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,694
Points
69
Email to APA members. Reading between the lines, the message I get is "We received a lot of email expressing opposition to the idea, and we're still going forward with it."

Anna Breinich said:
Tenured Faculty Membership Program Proposal

Over the past week, I have personally heard from over a hundred AICP members interested in the proposal before the Commission to create a membership program for tenured faculty at PAB-accredited planning programs. That's in addition to those members that read the online materials posted on November 11 and submitted comments through the website. I must say that my fellow Commissioners and I appreciate the dialog.

The Commission is considering a proposal to invite tenured faculty of PAB-accredited programs to apply for AICP membership. If qualified, the member would then be accepted without taking the exam. The grant of tenure, which requires extensive written materials and, typically, three or more levels of approval, is being considered as an acceptable alternative to the written Comprehensive Planning Exam. National and chapter leaders discussed the proposal on several occasions at APA's 2011 fall leadership meetings held in September in Washington, D.C. The proposal was also discussed with the American Collegiate Schools of Planning at their annual meetings in October. The Commission then decided to post the proposal for AICP member comment which was done through the November 11, 2011 edition of APA Interact for Certified Planners.

In developing the draft Tenured Faculty Membership Program proposal, the Commission struggled with many of the concerns raised by members. The eight AICP Commissioners are professional planners, elected from among AICP membership, trying to address a long-standing, difficult challenge of reaching out effectively to planning educators without undermining the value of the AICP credential. We feel this is one way to strengthen our profession and connectivity to those educating future planners.

We do look forward to a continued, more respectful and substantive dialogue with members on this issue and your thoughtful suggestions for improvement. I strongly encourage you to read the detailed information available online about the proposal, along with the form for submitting comments. After reviewing comments, we will offer an additional comment period on a more finalized draft.

Sincerely,

Anna Breinich, AICP
President of AICP
 

Tarf

Cyburbian
Messages
699
Points
14
Email to APA members. Reading between the lines, the message I get is "We received a lot of email expressing opposition to the idea, and we're still going forward with it."

I like how the last paragraph references the need for more "respectful...dialogue." By that, I'm interpreting that they got some comments alright, and they weren't exactly in support of the proposal OR "respectful" :)

We should start a Cyburbia campaign to oust the AICP board if they go through with the proposal. (Do they allow recall campaigns? :p).

Of course, what do I care, I'm not even AICP, since it takes APA 2 months to read a test score 8-!
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
27
Email to APA members. Reading between the lines, the message I get is "We received a lot of email expressing opposition to the idea, and we're still going forward with it."
That was pretty much the same reaction I had. It's kind of funny in a sad way that this is happening at the same time that APA is doing the series on improving communication. Aren't planners supposed to engage with the public early in the process and before making plans? Do as we say, not as we do.

Perhaps we could grant them honorary AICP certs, that should be the status equivalent of an honorary PhD.
 
Last edited:

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,499
Points
30
Does this cheapen AICP? I sure think so. What is the motivation other than offering a reward?
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,771
Points
61
Do you know your state chapter's position on this ?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Add me to those who read that the decision was made long before they asked for input. As every comment on the topic that I have seen is against the proposal, I'll wait to see if the AICP board acts otherwise - but I will not expect it.

I had the thought that there should be a demand to have the board share the written comments - sort of a "public information request". I wonder how they would respond to the request, and then to their actions in the face of overwhelming opposition.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,814
Points
51
APA Ohio is opposing the measure, and I would assume many other state organizations will do the same. It seems like a very small percentage of people really want this. I would guess 80-20 if it went up for a vote.
 

ecofem

Cyburbian
Messages
206
Points
9
Here's Breinich's direct e-mail......................

abreinich@myfairpoint.n*t
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
this is the response that many some have submitted....feel free to copy!

"I fully support the comments and positions of Stuart Meck and Rebecca Retzlaff as summarized below:

The message the Commission is sending with this idiotic proposal is that while you can spend thousands of dollars to earn a planning degree (often going into considerable debt) and take a test after a certain period of experience, the people who teach you really never have to prove what they know in an objective test. Nor, more critically, would these faculty members have to show, for example, that they could understand and apply the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct or that they knew the basics of American planning law, topics that the examination tests for and the AICP certification maintenance program requires special attention to.
What a fraud and insult this proposal represents to the hard-working planners who have dutifully followed the rules, gotten their education and experience, and have taken and passed the certification examination (and for the planning faculty who did likewise)! "
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,490
Points
37
Did AICP even send members an email asking for our opinion? I don't recall receiving one. I was only informed of this yesterday when I received an email from my chapter president. I'm sure they think having more professors AICP credentialed gives us more legitimacy but doing it this way does just the opposite.

On second thought, I will support this IF AICP finds an accredited university willing to bestow a Ph.D. on the rest of us.

Since we just got this on the MD APA listserv the only folks responding are academics telling us what a wonderful idea it is. One is even proposing that being published in a peer-reviewed planing journal be awarded 10 -15 CM credits per article!!!!!

I'm about to hit "send" on my reply all email that says "Or, you could just take the exam like everyone else."
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,694
Points
69
I'm sure they think having more professors AICP credentialed gives us more legitimacy but doing it this way does just the opposite..
From the AICP email:

The eight AICP Commissioners are professional planners, elected from among AICP membership, trying to address a long-standing, difficult challenge of reaching out effectively to planning educators without undermining the value of the AICP credential.
If professors and others in academia really wanted AICP certification, they would have spent their time and money to take the tests. A reason why AICP credentials are uncommon among those in academia is probably because they don't need them. Their PhD and tenure establishes their legitimacy among their peers and those outside of academic. AICP credentials is more important for planners, where they serve to put them on a more level playing field with credentialed professionals in other fields.

Will this set a precedent for future exceptions? Will lawyers become exempt from taking the exam because the bar is seen as an equivalent?

Since we just got this on the MD APA listserv the only folks responding are academics telling us what a wonderful idea it is. One is even proposing that being published in a peer-reviewed planing journal be awarded 10 -15 CM credits per article!!!!!
Yikes!

The APA Upstate NY list has been silent.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
27
Just another reason to cement why I will not seek AICP. I've been hired into 2 director level positions without it. It's a joke, and most likely only matters in the private sector. But even then, experience ultimately trumps those GD initials.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,803
Points
32
...In my undergraduate program, the planning portion of the program was horrible and was led by a professor who had no real world experience as a planner. This individual consistently made the claim that "planning is not political." LMAO. Yeah, he deserved AICP for his wisdom alone.
...
Similar experience: my undergrad had seven profs, only one of which had recently worked in the field. They'd stand up and recite their hoary lectures from memory. My first actual learning took place in an urban utilities class (taught by a TA).

Masters classes: a couple of practitioners, and a lot of "advice" that just didn't work. One prof offered an exercise: two neighbors have a dispute, bring it to the city, how do you solve it. The answer he sought was "have them talk to each other."

Many years back I thought that a route back into planning would be to obtain AICP, but the bar to exam admission is set very high, and clearly would not be obtainable without cooperation from former supervisors who'd left the profession (if not the working world or the planet). Thanks to teh interwebs, I found out that the credential is not held in as high regard as the certifying body would like to believe.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,694
Points
69
Did AICP even send members an email asking for our opinion? I don't recall receiving one. I was only informed of this yesterday when I received an email from my chapter president.
I think that's how most people found out about it; online or through a third pasty at the last minute.

For all the complaints about CM, AICP gave us far more advance notice of the chances. Maybe they didn't want to deal with that level of fallout again, so they decided to be far more discreet about the professor pass proposal.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,490
Points
37
Just got an email from our chapter president who was in contact with national. Comments have been received (almost overwhelmingly negative). AICP will be considering comments and put forth a final draft of some kind of proposal and then we will have the opportunity to comment again. Let's all be diligent and make sure when it is released we let everyone know ASAP so we can weigh in again.

I'm still waiting for a good answer of where this idea came from. It was funny on the Maryland listserv, at first there were a few professors extolling the virtues of the proposal . . . . and then the tsunami hit. Suddenly the academic world got very quiet on the issue.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
In the first few years of AICP a person could get the initials with a state chapter nomination. Presumed to be honorary, it was similar to the current proposal. We did it once when I was on a chapter board and I hated it. I took the test, why should someone not? It was a unanimous vote by that board but no one was pleased. One and maybe two board members worked under this person. Some time later AICP dropped that "easy way in".
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,694
Points
69
Let's all be diligent and make sure when it is released we let everyone know ASAP so we can weigh in again.
Post it here right away, so we can pit the news on the front page. Anyone interested in writing an editorial on the topic?
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,413
Points
33
Post it here right away, so we can pit the news on the front page. Anyone interested in writing an editorial on the topic?
I'm willing to contribute to an editorial, but would like a co-writer if at all possible.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
AICP members can get an update on where the issue stands at http://www.planning.org/leadership/fromthecommission/2011/dec.htm

Short summary: A Task Force has been set up to review the proposal and the feedback from the membership.

The task force will review all comments received to date. Additional comments intended to inform the task force's deliberations and discussions should be sent to getinvolved@planning.org.

Timeline: early February 2012, the task force will develop initial recommendations, taking into consideration the early feedback from membership. The AICP Commission will then request comments from members for the Task Force's use in developing a full list of recommendations.

Full recommendations from the task force by March 2012, then further review and comment by membership.

After that, the recommendation will be revised and a proposal be offered for review by the membership, Chapter Presidents Council, Divisions Council, and Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, then consideration by the AICP Commission during the National Planning Conference meetings in April 2012.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
My contribution:

I want to reiterate my opposition to automatically granting the AICP designation to tenured faculty. AICP is intended to recognize the professional standards and accomplishment of practicing planners. Tenure is granted to those who teach and research. There is a distinction. Other professions – law, medicine, and engineering among them – do not grant professional credentials upon faculty for the mere fact that they have been granted tenure. Why should we belittle our own credentials by doing so.

Furthermore, there are countless questions raised by a program of granting AICP to faculty. Will this only be to faculty with a planning doctorate teaching in a recognized planning program? What about a faculty member with an economics or geography degree? What about someone with a planning doctorate teaching in a geography program? Face it, many faculty without planning doctorates and teaching in other fields perform research and offer instruction more relevant to the planning profession than what some planning faculty contribute. The bottom line is that if they want to earn the AICP designation, there is a process for doing so. Everybody should have to follow the same route.

This idea is being considered, it has been said, to encourage greater interaction between the academic community and professional planners. There are better ways to promote this goal than to cheapen the work many people have done to attain the AICP credential and raise its professional stature among both planners and the public at large.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
27
This idea is being considered, it has been said, to encourage greater interaction between the academic community and professional planners. There are better ways to promote this goal than to cheapen the work many people have done to attain the AICP credential and raise its professional stature among both planners and the public at large.
I think we can conclusively say that the proposal has been successful in promoting interaction between the two communities. I'm not sure it has been the type of interaction that the Commission anticipated. One measure of leadership is the ability to recognize that a mistake has been made and then to rectify it, even if it means reversing a decision and taking responsibility for the mistake. We'll just have to wait and see what type of leadership the AICP Commission will demonstrate.
 

BurntPlanner

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
Interaction isn't my goal

I think we can conclusively say that the proposal has been successful in promoting interaction between the two communities. I'm not sure it has been the type of interaction that the Commission anticipated. One measure of leadership is the ability to recognize that a mistake has been made and then to rectify it, even if it means reversing a decision and taking responsibility for the mistake. We'll just have to wait and see what type of leadership the AICP Commission will demonstrate.
Planning academics have no interest in interacting with practicing planners. The feeling, on my part, is mutual.
After numerous communications, including mine, the AICP commission has pushed this to the LA conference where the FAICP's that thought this up in the first place will be 'interacting' on it. It's a done deal folks. They will humor our 'citizen input', but we practicing AICP's were long ago kicked to the curb. If any of us did this on a plan or development, APA would roast us alive. Hypocrisy.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,490
Points
37
AICP members can get an update on where the issue stands at http://www.planning.org/leadership/fromthecommission/2011/dec.htm

Short summary: A Task Force has been set up to review the proposal and the feedback from the membership.

The task force will review all comments received to date. Additional comments intended to inform the task force's deliberations and discussions should be sent to getinvolved@planning.org.

Timeline: early February 2012, the task force will develop initial recommendations, taking into consideration the early feedback from membership. The AICP Commission will then request comments from members for the Task Force's use in developing a full list of recommendations.

Full recommendations from the task force by March 2012, then further review and comment by membership.

After that, the recommendation will be revised and a proposal be offered for review by the membership, Chapter Presidents Council, Divisions Council, and Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, then consideration by the AICP Commission during the National Planning Conference meetings in April 2012.
So, now that this is offical, does anyone have any recollection of seeing anything from APA on the issue in early February? Yeah, me neither. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but this just really burns my ass.
 

hilldweller

Cyburbian
Messages
3,865
Points
23
[HR][/HR]
So, now that this is offical, does anyone have any recollection of seeing anything from APA on the issue in early February? Yeah, me neither. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but this just really burns my ass.
This is B-O-G-U-S.
 
Top