Conflict of Interest
Last month Prism
reported on an investigation the Department of Education asked the
Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology to conduct regarding
an allegation of conflict of interest at the University of Missouri
at Columbia ("Conflict-of-Interest
Flap Hits Accrediting Agency," February, p. 10). I
am pleased to follow up with information that I feel brings closure
to this concern.
ABET presented the findings of its investigation to the Department
of Education on December 13, 2000; the Department promptly responded
in a January 5, 2001 letter to ABET from Karen W. Kershenstein,
Director of Accreditation and State Liaison, writing:
the extent to which your agency went to conduct an open and
comprehensive review' of the entire situation for the benefit of
all parties involved. After careful examination of the materials
you submitted, we agree that no violation of ABET's conflict-of-interest
policy can be found."
closes by stating: "Again, thank you for responding in depth
to the complaint submitted by Dr. Springsteel and for consistently
providing timely resolutions to the infrequent complaints we receive
concerning ABET policies."
It is important
that the engineering education community know that this issue has
been brought to closure in an expeditious and open manner. ABET
takes very seriously its responsibility to the engineering community
and acts expeditiously to resolve, openly and comprehensively, any
and all issues that challenge the integrity of ABET.
ABET Executive Director
Too Much Depth
recognize the U.S. Navy has undergone substantial and significant changes
since I served. At the same time, however, I seriously doubt a statement
made twice in "Taking Education to New Depths" in the January
issue, namely that the USS Montpelier goes several thousand feet below
the surface. I have no problem with several hundred feet, but [the correct
number] is well under one thousand feet.
Charles O. Smith
Captain, USN, Retired
The editor responds:
Capt. Smith is right. Although the Navy's deepest-diving sub can reach
depths of 3,000 feet, the USS Montpelier doesn't fall into that category.
The unclassified depth limit for Fast Attack Submarines (the USS Montpelier
is one) and Strategic Missile Submarines is 800 feet, but they routinely
operate shallower than that depth. We regret the error.
In the December issue
of Prism, we identified Linda Lucas as dean of engineering at the University
of Alabama, Birmingham. She is the interim dean.
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