March 29, 2019

The 2018-2019 AIAS Board of Directors (BoD) met in Washington, D.C., on March 23rd and 24th for the FY19 Spring BoD Meeting to think proactively and discuss a wide range of topics and initiatives that would inevitably have a lasting impact on the organization.  The Spring BoD meeting is an exciting opportunity for the current and incoming boards to work together to question what the AIAS can do and to discover what our next steps and initiatives should be to reach our collective goals. The current Board Members were able to challenge what they are capable of as a team, while highlighting to our future leaders the synergy and constructive deliberations that are possible in the Boardroom.

To continue to maximize transparency from the National level to the Chapter level, here is a recap of what was discussed and what was voted on at the BoD Meeting in Washington!

Decisions Made

  • The Board conducted a discussion surrounding the continued growth of our two International Regions – AIAS Middle East and AIAS Latin America.  After careful consideration and deliberation, the Board re-appointed Sandi Boutros from the American University in Dubai and Yuliane Thillet from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico to continue their service into the 2019-2020 year as the Regional Ambassadors for the AIAS Middle East and AIAS Latin America regions, respectively.
  • In accordance with the AIAS Rules of the Board, the Board conducted an annual review of the organization’s existing partnerships and sponsorships, wherein they approved the renewal of said partnerships and sponsorships that were in accordance with the overall mission and values of the AIAS.
  • The Board performed a thorough review of the proposed draft Code of Ethics as developed by the 2018-2019 Governance Committee.  The finalized Code of Ethics is scheduled to be completed by the Committee in the coming months, and shall be reviewed by the Board at the Grassroots BoD Meeting in anticipation of its incorporation into the AIAS Governance system.
  • The Board approved the establishment of a Standing Ethics Committee to serve as an on-call body responsible for periodically evaluating ethical issues of the organization when necessary and providing recommendations as appropriate to the Board.  As this Board decision incorporated both Rules of the Board amendments and Bylaws amendments, the Council of Presidents (CoP) will have the opportunity to ratify the Bylaws amendments pertaining to the establishment of this Committee at the Grassroots CoP Meeting.

Ongoing Discussions

  • The Board continued their discussions surrounding existing and potential opportunities for increased AIAS Member benefits and member value in conjunction with a thorough analysis of our existing organizational membership breakdown by membership type.
  • The Board engaged in another productive and monumental discussion with the three AIAS representatives on the NAAB Accreditation Review Forum (ARF) Steering Committee.  This discussion was the third of four that will be taking place throughout the year in anticipation of the 2019 ARF taking place in July 2019. The AIAS Board recognizes the importance of the student voice in all issues pertaining to architectural education.  Keeping the organization’s collective mission and values in mind, the 2018-2019 Board of Directors worked with the 2019-2020 Board-elect to cultivate a unified set of AIAS ideals in anticipation of the 2019-2020 Board’s participation at the 2019 ARF. Some of the collective goals that have been established thus far include: balancing the rigor of architectural education with the health and wellness of students, increasing the impact and weight of Studio Culture Policies, and exploring the value of multi-disciplinary curriculum requirements.
  • The Board finalized the operational and strategic plan for the new framework for the Summer digital edition of the AIAS CRIT Journal.  The edition published in tandem with the 2019 Grassroots Conference will effectively serve as a tangible and celebratory repository of the initiatives, actions, and programs executed and explored throughout the 2018-2019 year at a national and local level.

Looking Ahead

  • The Board engaged in a productive conversation surrounding effective and impactful methods for increasing the accessibility of our annual FORUM Conference.
  • The Board conducted a thorough Digital Evaluation of the organization’s existing social media and website platforms.  Coupled with analytical data, this discussion allowed the current Board and Board-elect to begin to think broadly about how the AIAS can utilize these disparate platforms more efficiently.
  • 2019-2020 marks the 15th anniversary of Freedom by Design (FBD) as a program within AIAS and the 20th anniversary of FBD overall.  The Board began to explore how to maximize this exciting milestone in the program’s trajectory and will continue to develop strategies over the coming months.

The final Board of Directors Meeting of the 2018-2019 term and the first Council of Presidents Meeting of the 2019-2020 year will be taking place in Washington, DC in July in conjunction with Grassroots 2019!  Stay tuned for more updates on how your leaders are doing everything in their capacity to amplify your voices and provide you with the tools and avenues you need for success.