Many may know Professor Jori Erdman for her career as an architect, for her work in educating future architects at LSU, or as the director of the School of Architecture. But another significant role Erdman has undertaken in the architectural community is her service as treasurer of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
The nonprofit, membership association maintains a variety of activities that influence, communicate, and record important issues for the architecture profession. Unique in its representative role for schools of architecture, ACSA provides a forum for ideas on the leading edge of architectural thought. Issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future are being examined today in ACSA member schools—and Jori Erdman plays an important role in that discussion.
Erdman has been involved with the ACSA since her early years as an educator. In the late 1990s, she was a faculty councilor at Drury and Clemson universities, representing the schools to the national organization and participating in regional activities with other councilors. During this time, she organized two regional conferences for the ACSA—one at Drury called “Design/Build/Learn” and one at Clemson called “Territorial Practices.”
In 2006, Erdman was selected to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education, published by the ACSA through Taylor and Francis. The Journal of Architectural Education is the primary venue for research and commentary on architectural education since it was founded in 1947. From 2007-11, Erdman was the design editor for the journal.
Erdman was elected as treasurer of the ACSA Board of Directors in early 2013. As treasurer, Erdman attends three board meetings each year, the annual Administrators’ Conference, and the ACSA Annual Conference. She is responsible for approving the annual budget and presenting the budget to ACSA representatives at the annual meeting. She also serves on the Board of Directors Executive Committee and the Scholarly Meetings Committee and is chair of the Finance Committee.
The ACSA Board of Directors is the administrating and governing body of the association and is empowered to transact all business not specifically reserved for action by the membership. It is also empowered to adopt rules to address policy issues in its discretion. Some of the board’s current initiatives in which Erdman is actively participating include:
- Drafting revisions and responses to the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) Conditions and Procedures for the Accreditation of Architecture Schools. The board works with other collaterals (American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Architecture Students, and National Council of Architecture Registration Board) to think about the profession and how educators and practitioners can work together to move the architecture discipline forward. The revisions to the NAAB Conditions and Procedures will include the latest thinking about architectural education. Concerns during the rewriting discussions include: accreditation for international programs, online programs and possibilities, and the possibility of licensure upon graduation.
- Incorporating community colleges into the education process for prospective architecture students. The board is looking at how community colleges can become part of the discussion of how architects are educated, how they enter the profession, and how they become licensed.
- A new format for the New Administrators Workshop at the annual ACSA Conference. Along with Dean Frances Bronet of the University of Oregon, Erdman was co-chair of a session at the 2013 ACSA National Administrators’ Conference, named the New Administrators’ Workshop. Over the next few years, Bronet and Erdman are working to restructure the workshop into an interactive and engaging new format.
Erdman’s participation as a board member of ACSA is important for the LSU School of Architecture, demonstrating that LSU has a national perspective and is willing to take on a leadership role and address the important issues in architectural education.
“As treasurer, I can influence the direction of the organization in a way that will serve the interests of architectural education and represent the needs and views of land-grant universities such as LSU,” said Erdman.
Erdman said that significant shifts will continue in both the educational and professional models for educators and professionals. As a member of ACSA Board of Directors, Erdman is positioned to learn about those shifts, armed with a strong sense of what will be expected of architecture graduates, as well as respond and lead the ACSA and LSU as the profession progresses through the 21st century.
“I am also helping to develop the organization’s current strategy for improving diversity in our schools, which is a goal we share at the LSU School of Architecture and the university as a whole,” added Erdman.
LSU has a history of participating in the national organization. Most recently, Professor Ursula Emery McClure served as regional director for ACSA, representing schools across the Southeast and Texas, and Professor Emeritus Chris Theis was recognized in the ACSA College of Distinguished Professors.
Visit acsa-arch.org for more information about the organization and the Board of Directors.
About the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is a nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. School membership in ACSA has grown from 10 charter members to 250 schools in several membership categories. These include full membership for accredited programs in the United States and government-sanctioned schools in Canada, candidate membership for schools seeking accreditation, and affiliate membership for schools for two-year and international programs. Through these schools, 5,000 architecture faculty are represented. In addition, over 500 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations, and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support of ACSA goals. Visit acsa-arch.org for more information.