No-Exam Bylaws Amendment for Planning Faculty Will Cheapen AICP Certification

Stuart Meck and Rebecca Retzlaff call the attention of AICP certified planners to an upcoming change to the certification process which they believe will "degrade and cheapen" the AICP designation.

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Commission is trying to pull a fast one with a proposed amendment to its bylaws that would waive the requirement of taking the written computerized examination for tenured faculty members who are in planning programs that are accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). All others who want certification will still have to take the examination. We believe this action will degrade and cheapen AICP certification and we urge AICP members to contact the Commission to oppose it as well.

While this initiative has been in the works for at least six months, AICP members only found out about it if they read through the November 2011 AICP Interact, the electronic newsletter that goes out to its members, where the request for "feedback" was buried near the bottom. There is nothing about this on the home pages of American Planning Association (APA) or AICP and you can't find anything by searching the APA website. The deadline for submitted comments is "no later than December 1, 2011." The short time frame in the middle of the busy holiday season makes it impossible for AICP members as well as Chapter boards to respond and comment intelligently. We think AICP is going through the motions of asking for input that it really doesn't want to hear.

Noting that Ph.D.s dominate planning faculty today, AICP argues that a university's grant of tenure to a faculty member "must be approved through a rigorous process that includes votes of approval at several stages. This will be considered as an alternative to a written examination." Part of that process includes evidence of "[r]esearch and publication."

Unfortunately, AICP does not appear to have conducted any kind of survey of university tenure practices. If it had, it would find out that the requirements for tenure differ, including the number of publications in refereed journals, the "prestige" of the publication, the quality of teaching evaluations, and service, if any. Academic politics occasionally raises its ugly head. Moreover, the final arbiter of tenure is not the planning faculty itself, but a university's president or its board of trustees.

Modern planning faculties are filled with people who have never practiced planning at all and do not have planning degrees. It is common to find planning faculties with doctoral degrees in history, political science, economics, environmental science, geography, and similar academic disciplines. There's nothing wrong with that (in fact it's good), but they are not planners.

Further, the granting of tenure has absolutely nothing to do with capacity for practice, which is what AICP is about. 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)!

Some type of examination has always been part of certification. The predecessor to AICP, the American Institute of Planners (AIP), used an oral examination in which the candidate for AIP certification was quizzed by a trio of largely male senior planners. But the examination process was tainted by the biases of the examiners and, frankly, whether or not one or more of them had a grudge against the hapless examinee. Because of serious questions about its objectivity and ability to test planning knowledge fairly, AIP discontinued the oral examination about a year before the merger with the American Society of Planning Officials in 1978 that created APA. AICP has administered a multiple choice written examination since 1979.

In a November 13, 2011, email to AICP President Anna Breinich and AICP Commissioner Deborah Lawlor, Dwight Merriam, a former AICP president himself and a nationally recognized land use attorney, raised this uncomfortable question: "Does the professional engineering association or AIA [American Institute of Architects] or ASLA [American Society of Landscape Architects] or the medical schools give tenured professors in accredited schools certifications to practice? Is there any profession that does this? Law schools certainly don't."

More to the point, Merriam added, "I don't want to compete against a no-exam AICP professor doing consulting on the side, or have my home town hire one for a consultation, any more than I would want a brain surgeon who happens to be on the faculty of a medical school doing surgery on my . . . brain." Instead, he suggested that to encourage faculty members in PAB-accredited schools to become AICP members, AICP should waive their examination fees, waive annual dues for a term of years, or provide a discount. "That should encourage them to participate," Merriam wrote.

If you agree with us that tenured faculty members at PAB –accredited planning programs should not have the luster of AICP certification without taking the examination like the rest of us, fire up your word processor and email and let AICP President Anna Breinich and the rest of the AICP Commission know exactly how you feel. Turn up the heat! Don't let these people off the hook because they are accountable to you.

Stuart Meck, FAICP, is an associate research professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. He is a former APA National President and Commissioner on the AICP Commission. Rebecca Retzlaff, AICP, , is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, at Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Both have taken and passed the AICP examination.



No Exam By-Laws

While I can appreciate your argument about being AICP certified in order to teach, I wonder about your proposed course of action for tenured professors who currently teach and are not certified. Would you recommend having them dismissed from teaching if they did not pass the AICP? Maybe this is why the AICP Commission is "sidestepping" the issue. There is not a singularly satisfactory way to resolve non-certified tenured planning professors.
I'm not sure I agree with the comparison example of a surgeon/medical professor to AICP/planning professor. Practitioners are not the same as research/instructors. I'm not sure I agree that obtaining AICP certification makes one fit for teaching at a university level. I know plenty of AICP certified folks who, while I respect their capabilities in practice, I would not advocate as professorial.
Prospective students can make this an issue by taking their education dollars away from institutions that allow non-certified instructors. Surely if a professor is AICP certified, he/she would want it noted in their university bio; anyone lacking the credential in their bio could be assumed to not have attained it. Over time, market forces could drive learning institutions to implement their own policies for credentials.
I can see the argument for a "confirming" credential for those who teach planning, but implementing it fairly may mean rolling it into requirements for newcomers. Applying a credential requirements retroactively (i.e., new requirement to keep your current position) seems a draconian, heavy-handed approach. That approach also assumes any professor currently without the credential isn't worthy of his/her position. That seems very presumptuous and unfair.

Response to comment

There is nothing in the AICP proposal that would require AICP certification in order to teach planning in accredited planning programs, or lose tenure because of lack of AICP certification.

Stuart Meck, FAICP/PP
Associate Research Professor
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

Cheapen the certification,

Cheapen the certification, did I miss something? It’s already as cheap as it comes. Read on and you’ll see why. The AICP has a host of credibility issues, both within and outside the profession, and I agree that adding this new wrinkle to the mix will dilute a certification I consider flimsy at best. Those that have the supposedly-vaunted acronym, and I am speaking for those I have spoken to with it or seeking it, don’t put as much stock into its validity and credibility as APA and the AICP organization do or thinks membership does. The attempt to gain visibility and increased credibility through a certification maintenance program was seen by the vast majority not as a policy intended to help members professionally, but one to increase revenue for the bloated organization that is off-limits and out of touch for its constituency.

The issue, in my opinion, is that self-certification by any discipline in and of itself lacks credibility. What planners need, and I’d be the first to sign up for, is a third-party accreditation, either through state licensure or some other entity that is not focused entirely on ways to increase revenue (See: certification maintenance and this new professorial AICP). Everyone has their own self-certification as a means to raise revenue and falsely lend credibility to their discipline. AICP, LEED, now CNU. It’s all a joke. Sure, it may snooker outsiders but those with said acronyms don’t have much in the way of respect for them. If you do respect it, maybe after you finish this you won’t have as much.

I live in upstate New York. I know a recent story about a local professional getting AICP despite a written plea by an AICP member to scrutinize the application. The story is that the planner applied for certification and local planners in the field found out about, it’s a small profession and word gets out. Well, a few took umbrage with it since the person in question is known to have zero professional planning experience, as defined by AICP, and instead has engaged in the design and permitting of private subdivisions while working for a private company. The application was apparently denied based on the letter written but was permitted 6 months later after reapplying, despite the planner in question gaining no professional planning experience during that time. The planner in question, and I’m uneasy even calling the person a planner, has spent an entire career engaged in the design and permitting of subdivisions and commercial projects, representing private interests and often contested by local planning departments and agencies and residents. The planners in the region who are engaged in actual professional urban and community planning are appalled that such an applicant was not only admitted, but that despite their pleas, the application was never verified by them.

If you’re going to self-certify your membership (let’s be honest, AICP is APA so let’s not try to say there is a boundary there, there isn’t), the process of application review, especially when contested, should be exceedingly thorough and the proof should be placed squarely on the applicant to be honest and on AICP to adequately review the application, including contacting superiors, clients, and other references who can verify the work and time being submitted as professional planning work. Right now, that doesn’t happen, as evidenced by this example. And that by itself should really make those with AICP certification wonder about AICP’s credibility as an organization.

So from my perspective, the entire AICP certification is a sham. Letting professors who have never engaged in professional planning is just another degradation of an already diluted certification. Let them in, they let everyone else in.

This is a profession where wages are among the lowest for master’s grads of any profession, so what exactly are planners getting from the AICP other than a tiny boost in their salaries that are now offset by the cost of certification maintenance (many, many planners in public planning offices have to cover that on their own time with their own money, thanks).

Sadly, those with AICP are usually trapped because their job requires is. AICP has exploited that for its own needs and failed to adequately protect any shred of credibility the certification may have had.

Planning Faculty Filled with Non Planners?

I wanted to react to the statement above that, "Modern planning faculties are filled with people who have never practiced planning at all and do not have planning degrees. It is common to find planning faculties with doctoral degrees in history, political science, economics, environmental science, geography, and similar academic disciplines. There's nothing wrong with that (in fact it's good), but they are not planners."

I completed my undergraduate degree in urban studies at the University of Maryland before continuing onto Georgia Tech where completed a degree in planning as well as a second masters in transportation engineering. So out of curiosity I went to the Maryland program's web site and seven out of the nine full time faculty in planning (excluding research faculty and faculity whose primary appointment was with another department) had planning degrees. I then went onto the Georgia Tech website and found ALL of the full time faculty (excluding research faculty and faculity whose primary appointment was with another department) had planning degrees.

I was also under the impression, that in general most new faculity appointed in accredited planning programs had planning degrees. The majority of those with degrees in other areas were appointed in the past and in general the percentage of faculity at accredited planning programs with planning degrees has increased over time.

Finally, I wonder how rigorous the AICP exam really is? I keep hearing that the pass rate of the AICP exam is often lower than the pass rate of the bar exam in many states. That may be true, but most lawyers sitting for the bar actually take months after law school (or time off from their jobs) to just study for the bar exam (in fact their are loans one can take for the purpose of paying living expenses and bar exam preperation classes). Meanwhile most people sit for the AICP exam after only some period of self study which is hardly comparable to the bar exam. In addition, except in a handful of states you have to graduate from an accredited law school just to be eligible to sit for the bar exam. Meanwhile, one doesn't even need a college degree to sit for the AICP exam provided one has enough relevant experience. If one has an accredited planning degree, it only provides a year advantage over someone with a unaccredited masters degree in terms of the required work experience and only a two year advantage over someone with just any college degree. Compared to accounting, engineering, architecture, or law the advantages of having a planning education (and degree) are extremely diluted.

Honestly, the best thing AICP could do enhance its value would be to adopt the New Jersey educational requirements to become a Professional Planner. That is everyone (except those folks who are licensed in New Jersey as professional engineers, architects, landscape architects and surveryors) has to take 21 college credits of PLANNING courses just to be eligible to become a professional planner. This alone would vastly increase the value of an accredited planning degree and ensure that those who are AICP have actually taken college level courses in planning in addition to have passed the AICP exam. I'm all for professionalizing planning, but if we are to do that then make sure it means something to be a planner beyond having experience and passing the AICP exam.

Dharm Guruswamy, AICP CTP

Licensing Planners Still a Terrible Idea

With all due respect, licensing of planners is as bad an idea today as it was when a 1979 AICP study soundly rejected the ill-conceived idea based on facts and not ideology. And in all the intervening years, the experience in the only state that has been foolish enough to adopt licensing of planners -- New Jersey -- nothing has changed to warrant state licensing of planners. At its best, licensing can weed out the most extremely incompetent planners, but other incompetents will still get licensed (as happens in just about every licensed profession). At its worst, licensing will limit what planners can do. As the AICP study pointed out, if we had licensing, planners would be doing far less than what they do and there would be fewer planner jobs.

We have not pretended that you need to be educated as a planner to be a very competent professional planner. The best boss I ever had was not trained as a planner and it would have been a real tragedy if he had been prohibited from serving as a planning director because he did not have a planning degree or the course work. He learned on the job which can be far more effective education than you'll get in any planning classroom from academics who have done very little actual planning in their careers.

So far nobody has produced any evidence at all that licensed New Jersey planners are any more competent than the planners in 49 other states that are not licensed. Nor has any evidence appeared that New Jersey planners are more respected by the public than the planners in the other 49 states.

There simply has been no demonstration that licensing planners has produced any positive benefits to the public or the profession.

To stay current on this issue, visit

Daniel Lauber, AICP
AICP President 2003-2005, 1992-1994
APA President 1985-1986

Planning License.

I agree that we don't really do anything that would make me believe planning needs a license. It is not as if we do engineering or surgery. And IMHO the number of hoops that you must jump through to simply have some letters after...erm...a certification is fascinating to me as well.




Deleted duplicate post.

Missed the point...

The previous two replies missed the point. This is not a move to eliminate professors who are not certified. It is a move to allow current professors certification. Ya'll are getting it mixed around. At no time in the article did I read, or infer, that the authors are advocating for requiring AICP for professors to teach. They are merely stating the position, and rightfully so, that JUST because you teach planning, does NOT make you qualified. This has nothing to do with being able to teach based upon certification, only to do with being able to get certification based on teaching.

The authors are right on the money! Before I even read the entire article, I thought to myself 'just because I can teach something, like medicine, doesn't qualify me to operate on someone', then BAM, the authors used that exact analogy. I don't believe that you should be required to hold certification to teach, and I certainly don't believe that just because you teach, you should gain the certification automatically; but I do believe that if I am attending a PAB accredited school, that most (if not all) my professors should be AICP certified.

If this goes into practice, I think the PAB should step up and require that all certified schools hire only AICP certified planners, before their certification is renewed or granted!


This proposition seems to fail the most basic test for policy change: a problem that it's trying to solve and a clear explanation of how the proposition will solve the problem. The AICP Commission has provided scant justification for why it is entertaining this proposal.

Tim Halbur's picture
Blogger / Alum

A response from AICP President Anna Breinich

Update on AICP Tenured Faculty Proposal
By Anna Breinich, AICP
President of the American Institute of Certified Planners

After reviewing feedback from hundreds of AICP members and others, I have appointed a task force of the AICP Commission to examine and study all the concerns raised about the proposal to invite tenured faculty at PAB-accredited planning schools to apply for AICP membership. Under what was originally drafted, invited faculty would still need to meet the education and experience requirements for AICP and use their university’s multi-tiered tenure process as an equivalent exam to the AICP Comprehensive Planning Examination.

Since our intent is to more fully engage members of the academy with the larger community of planners, the AICP task force is called the "Engagement of PAB-Accredited Planning Program Faculty Task Force." The task force has been charged to develop and offer the AICP Commission practical recommendations for greater engagement of planning faculty with AICP and its members.

The task force will consider a number of substantive and thoughtful suggestions to engage faculty that were offered by AICP and APA members who responded to the Commission’s initial proposal. The task force will review all related materials currently available, determine if additional survey data are needed, and offer recommendations to the AICP Commission.

The group is also charged to recommend ways to improve the relationship between planning’s professional and academic communities.

The task force members are: Brian Campbell, FAICP and Denise Harris, AICP, representing APA’s Chapter Presidents Council; Robert Lewis, AICP and David Fields, AICP, representing APA’s Divisions Council; Chuck Connerly and June Thomas, FAICP, representing the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; Bruce Knight, FAICP, representing the APA Board of Directors; and Eugenie Birch, FAICP, a member-at-large. AICP Commissioner, Paul Inghram, AICP, is the task force facilitator.

Please do not send comments directly to task force or AICP Commission members. Instead, send comments for task force consideration to

Here is the task force timeline:

• Mid-December 2011 through January 2012—Members submit comments for task force consideration to
• Early February 2012—The task force submits initial recommendations that consider members’ feedback to the AICP Commission.
• February 2012—Members provide feedback on the initial recommendations.
• Early March 2012—Task force submits a full list of recommendations to the AICP Commission.
• March 2012—Members provide feedback on the full list of recommendations.
• Late March 2012—Task force revises recommendations as needed.
• April 2012—Final proposal submitted for review by AICP members, Chapter Presidents Council, Divisions Council, and ACSP.
• Mid-April 2012—Consideration by the AICP Commission during the National Planning Conference in Los Angeles.

I believe it is important for our organization to be responsive to members and to the changing trends in our profession and society. The AICP Commission takes its role as the governing body of AICP quite seriously. Our aim is to create programs within the Institute that best serve the interests of the community of planners and the profession.

Members' intense interest in this issue has shown once again how deeply we value the AICP credential and profession. On behalf of the Commission, I would like to thank the many AICP members, planning educators, and others who have contributed to this discussion with their very thoughtful and passionate correspondence.

-Anna Breinich, AICP

Chris Steins's picture

Should Academic Tenure be Substituted for the AICP Exam?

Posted on behalf of Richard C. Jaffeson, AICP, ACA.

Should Acadamic Tenure be Substituted for the AICP Exam?
by Richard C. Jaffeson, AICP, ACA
December 23, 2011

The following are brief observations regarding the proposed text amendment to substitute faculty tenure at accredited university departments for the AICP examination in order to obtain certification.

Although the proposed text amendment at hand potentially may directly impact only a small group of select people, there are certain compelling comments which should be entertained regarding certification principles in general.

At question here is: "May academic tenure substitute for a practitioner examination?"

1. Certification consists of a variety of components with requirements. Components may include: education, experience, examination, documentation, and comportment. Requirements are specific benchmarks within components.

2. Most designations have an examination component (80%) which could contain: written exams, practical tests, or oral reviews. The exam is the final step in the approval process and evaluates a comprehensive practitioner in a profession or occupation and is the primary acceptance factor, as such it is not something with which to trifle or attempt to circumvent.

3. University faculty are academicians not practitioners, and over time usually specialize within a discipline in order to obtain tenure and as a result they are not necessarily comprehensive. In many instances, tenure essentially is a matter of endurance (time) and publication (text). If anything, faculty should be required to take the Comprehensive Planning Examination to ensure all aspects of the field are adequately understood.

4. If this academic group receives a special exception, then other groups perhaps should as well, e.g., planning directors of large agencies, and published authors on relevant planning topics. In addition, faculty with tenure at other planning related departments should petition for similar exemption from examination.

5. However, in certification it is expected that all candidates should be treated fairly, equally, and consistently in the same manner without exception or exemption.

6. AICP certification is designed for practitioners, and the standard recognized terminal degree for practice is the masters (MA, MCRP, and MUP, etc.). However, doctorates are currently required for faculty, and university positions are retained through acquiring tenure at that level. At its October 1979 meeting, after considerable deliberation, the NEDC discontinued PhD degree accreditation because it was decided functions at that level are for academicians which are different from practitioners. Minutes from that meeting stated the following, "The planning doctoral programs appear not to have a direct affect on the professional degree programs by having a different purpose and direction." The NEDC vote was unanimous, and nine PhD planning degrees were reevaluated. Those principles of degree recognition still remain today. At that time, I administered the NEDC at APA.

It was under the NEDC consideration that PhD functions, i.e., related faculty "purpose and direction," do not equate to the comprehensive practitioner's degree. Similarly, it would difficult to substitute acquisition of PhD level tenure-track related functions for a practitioner's certification examination as proposed in this recent text amendment.

Richard C. Jaffeson, AICP retired (charter member 1978)
former, Director of Credentialing, NAHRO
former, Director of Education and Certification, RBA
former, Coordinator of Council Programs, APA (accreditation)

The author has also designed and written 15 certification examinations for various national associations.

Interim Recommendations from AICP Faculty Engagement Task Force

The recommendations have been published and are below:

Interim Recommendations from AICP Faculty Engagement Task Force

The AICP President, in consultation with the AICP Commission, appointed a task force comprised of practicing planners and planning educators to develop and offer the Commission practical recommendations to more fully engage planning faculty with AICP and its membership. The task force — known as the "AICP Engagement of PAB-Accredited Planning Program Faculty Task Force" — has investigated steps to strengthen the relationship between the planning practitioners and academic parts of our planning community, specifically reviewing the many comments received regarding the original concept proposal to allow faculty to use their multi-tiered tenure process as an equivalent exam to the AICP Comprehensive Planning Examination.

This concept proposal related to tenure was first discussed over a decade ago and most recently was discussed with the AICP Commission beginning in the winter of 2011. In both the spring and fall of 2011, it was discussed with the APA Board, APA Chapter Presidents Council, and APA Divisions Council at their leadership meetings. An invitation for member comment was posted online in November, which generated numerous comments and discussions via social media. While some comments identified positive benefits of the proposal, the negative reaction from many made it clear that additional work was needed to understand the fundamental issue and to review the proposal in greater detail.

Following its formation in late December 2011, the task force reviewed all comments on the original proposal as well as information about the long-standing effort to strengthen relationships between planning professors and planning practitioners, including information about the tenure process, the relationship among APA, AICP, ACSP, and PAB, school accreditation, past efforts to encourage collaboration, and alternative solutions. The task force developed the following interim recommendations for the AICP Commission to consider at its April 2012 meeting at the National Planning Conference.

1.0 Remove the original proposal from consideration — The task force spent considerable time reviewing hundreds of comments on the original proposal and heard loud and clear a strong reaction against it. While several APA members articulated the proposal's merits, many were upset by their perception that the original proposal would be a "give away." Moving forward, the process will be more productive and nerves will be calmed by removing the original proposal from consideration. Taking the proposal off the table allows the task force to look more broadly at solutions that will best address the issue of faculty/practitioner engagement. At the April meeting of the AICP Commission, the task force plans to recommend a process for developing a
set of strategies that includes extended engagement of the membership and faculty and will recommend that the Commission remove the original proposal from consideration.

2.0 Establish a clear process — Once the original proposal is set aside, it is critical going forward to establish a clear process that provides confidence to our membership that they will have input into whatever recommendation is made. This process should include, at a minimum, the following steps:

2.1 Clearly define the problem — There are several statements and misperceptions now floating through the greater APA/AICP organization on the topic of strengthening the relationship between faculty and AICP. The larger issue of strengthening the relationship between faculty and practitioners was not well understood by those reviewing the original tenure proposal. Clearly defining the broader issue and communicating to stakeholders will facilitate a more productive discussion about potential solutions.

2.2 Increase understanding — Embedded in some of the commentary on the proposal were misperceptions of the intent of the concept, past practices, and the nature of tenure. Building on the clear definition of the problem and why a stronger relationship is important, staff has and should continue to develop a report on the history of faculty engagement in AICP and how other professions relate to their corresponding faculty cohorts. This should be shared broadly with the members.

2.3 Survey faculty — The question of how the faculty of accredited planning schools view the engagement issue has been raised by chapters and others making comments. To best understand how to strengthen the relationship with these professionals, we need to ask for their views on what would make participation in AICP more relevant to their work. The task force suggests a survey of all PAB accredited program faculty. Staff should work to define a survey process that will help return useable data and that will take into account the diversity of faculty within the planning community. ACSP leadership has offered assistance in survey creation and review, and should be used as a means of reaching out to the faculty to facilitate faculty engagement and response to the survey.

2.4 Develop recommendations — This includes adopting clear goals, evaluating various strategies against those goals, and identifying which strategies best achieve the desired outcomes.

2.5 Adoption process — This includes a period of education and consensus building to ensure a strong understanding of what is proposed, what is intended to be accomplished, and how the recommendations will achieve the desired outcome. It also includes addressing feedback received and making any needed adjustments before final adoption and implementation.

3. Other solutions for consideration — While the task force does not recommend a specific measure for the AICP Commission to act on in April, it does support continuing to advance collaboration and engagement and recognizes that there may be a number of valuable strategies available. These potential strategies should be explored further. Some may be viable only with careful scrutiny and a clear process to ensure that a new concept doesn't meet the same fate as the original proposal. Avenues of additional exploration that might be further investigated and developed include:

 Further investigate the barriers to the exam specific to faculty;

 Review the application process, qualification criteria, and logistics for taking the AICP Exam as they apply to faculty;

 Further develop opportunities for faculty/practitioner collaboration in planning research, such as finding new ways to communicate faculty research to the membership and including practitioners in the research process;

 Consider additional opportunities for faculty and professionals to share information at APA, chapter, and ACSP conferences;

 Support the Fellows to act as a body to engage faculty (as a resource, support, etc.); and

 Consider AICP Commission involvement with the ACSP Governing Board of Directors.

Ultimately, the broad objective remains to increase the positive relationship and interactions between professional planners and planning professors. The goal of the task force is to support and encourage that positive direction.

We should all embrace the dialog that resulted from the original proposal as an opportunity to better understand the nature of our two intertwined professions and to find areas where we can mutually grow, benefit from each other, and strengthen the role of planning in our communities.

The task force appreciates the responsibility given to it by the AICP Commission. We recognize that these recommendations do not result in a simple solution, but believe that the continued dialog on this issue will result in positive outcomes.

See the original notice about this program, including answers to frequently asked questions, at

Stuart Meck, FAICP/PP
Associate Research Professor, and Director
Center for Planning Practice
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

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