ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Committed to Introducing New Talent to the Standards Community

Panel Discussion to Initiate Dialogue on Establishing Standards Programs in University Curricula

New York, Jul 03, 2002

Standards have become such an integral part of our daily life that consumers give little to no thought to the inner-workings of the products and services they use. In fact, it would be an understatement to say that the world we live in would be devastated without standards. However, because consumers have come to take "the little things" for granted, the standards process has been losing ground.

One remedy to this problem, according to Dr. William Kelly, chairman of ANSI's Education Ad Hoc Committee, is to "increase awareness at the university level, specifically in schools of management, engineering, economics, law, public policy, and social sciences, ensuring that we [the standards community] prepare graduates to serve as professionals with a good understanding of standards."

In response to key objectives of the U.S. National Standards Strategy, the Institute has worked in conjunction with the International Center for Standards Research (ICSR), University of Colorado, to create a series of panel discussions that will provide academic, industry and government representatives with a forum to build an agenda on how to introduce standards into the higher learning curricula. The inaugural event, "The Advancement of Standards Education and Research at the University Level," will be co-hosted by ICSR and the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) and sponsored by ANSI on September 9, 2002 at Columbia University in New York City.

Timothy Schoechle, director of ICSR, stated, "The U.S. has been somewhat disadvantaged by the tendency in the business world [to focus] more on short-term objectives rather than realizing the benefits of standardization in the long-run. The only way we can change this is to educate our future business leaders and teach the importance of the role of standards at an earlier stage."

Key topics of the discussion include such issues as how to integrate standards topics into non-standards courses, in what schools and curricula, the importance of strategic standardization management and which topics should be the focus of academic research. The panelists are a mix of experts from various industries with a broad scope of diverse interests that have the common goal of increasing the awareness of the importance of standards.

"We need people to come out and begin to solve the problem of how to get standards into the higher education system. This panel will initiate the discussion and start the brainstorming," said Schoechle. "The ultimate goal of this series is to make the U.S. more competitive in the global marketplace while making standards more efficient overall."

Further discussion has been planned for ANSI's Annual Conference, "Breaking Down Borders-Business, Standards and Trade," on October 15-16 in Washington, D.C. The session, "University Education Outreach Forum: Developing a Standards Agenda for Change," will build upon the ideas developed at the initial panel discussion.

ICSR is currently looking for additional sponsors as well as industry participation. For more information on the event, please contact Pamela Suett, ANSI's director of Education and Training at (t) 212-642-4976 or (e) psuett@ansi.org.

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