On November 7, 2014, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) jointly announced the formation of a task force that will explore and evaluate the merits of a merger between the two organizations. This announcement follows nearly six months of analysis, study, and evaluation of the options for reimagining the relationships between the two organizations and the relationship of architecture education to the profession and to the public.
This is an effort to combine the collective wisdom, experience, knowledge, and networks of both in order to educate and promote the value of architecture education. Just as colleges and universities are faced with changed economic circumstances, so too are the organizations that support them. Both the NAAB and ACSA must look at alternative models that could result in improved value to the profession and to students, and still sustain each organization’s abilities to fulfill its respective missions. This means considering models that could position us much better to serve the profession, and students for the next generation of our discipline, including those that offer greater resources, and better efficiency.
The concept of the merger is still under review and analysis, so no agreements have been made. A formal merger will require a number of approvals by the NAAB and ACSA boards, ACSA members, and even the boards of AIA and NCARB. Many decisions remain, and the boards and staff have much work ahead to detail the process as it continues to be explored and evaluated. However, both organizations believe it is appropriate to announce our deliberations and investigations to our respective constituencies.
A merger could result in an organization that would serve as a collective supporting the growth and development of education, as well as the core principles of accreditation. This model is currently being explored as the Council for Architecture Education. The council is envisioned as serving two core missions:
- To advance architectural education by providing member schools, their faculties, and students with the tools they need to thrive.
- To be the leader in educational quality assurance to enhance the value, relevance, and effectiveness of the architectural profession.
Read the full text of the NAAB announcement.
Read the full text of the ACSA announcement.