ABET Constitution

ABET Constitution (October 2013 rev. 112013)

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I. Name

The name of this organization is Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., hereinafter referred to as “ABET”.

II. Purposes

  1. ABET is a membership not-for-profit corporation based in the United States and incorporated in New York focused on quality assurance and world leadership in fulfillment of its purposes. It is a federation of societies organized for the public good. Its purposes are educational, charitable, and scientific.
  2. To further the public welfare, ABET assures quality through the accreditation of educational programs, thereby assuring the competence of graduates entering professional practice. ABET accomplishes this through the development and promulgation of accreditation criteria.
  3. ABET will help assure educational quality within the academic community by stimulating innovation, fostering continuous improvement, and facilitating the strategic planning needed to achieve these goals.
  4. Educational programs of interest to ABET include applied science, computing, engineering, engineering technology, and other such disciplines as may be approved by the ABET Board of Directors (hereinafter referred to as the Board.)
  5. In support of the programs described, ABET will engage in other appropriate projects and programs.

III. Members

  1. ABET is comprised of those societies that have been admitted as Member Societies in accordance with provisions (A - D) of Article Four of the ABET Constitution or as Associate Member Societies in accordance with provisions (E & F) of Article Four.
  2. Member Societies possess full rights of membership and governance (Article Six) while Associate Member Societies possess only those rights specifically defined for them in this Constitution and Bylaws.
  3. The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), CSAB, Inc., National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) shall have status as Member Societies notwithstanding provisions of Article Four.

IV. Admissions

  1. Societies meeting the conditions of provisions B and C of this Article whose goals can effectively support those of ABET may qualify for admission as Member or Associate Member Societies of ABET.
  2. Characteristics that support society eligibility for Member Society status include the following:
    1. Active engagement in the dissemination of technical knowledge;
    2. Demonstrated interest and capability in the accreditation process;
    3. Substantial membership of employed graduates in the discipline;
    4. An organizational structure that has an educational component; and
    5. Evidence the society speaks for the technical community it represents.
  3. Applicants for admission as a Member Society must demonstrate they would have responsibility for a discipline within applied science, computing, engineering, engineering technology, or other such disciplines as may be appropriate, at the post- secondary level.
  4. Approval of an application for membership as a Member Society is by majority vote of the Board and subsequent ratification by at least two-thirds of the governing bodies of the Member Societies.
  5. Societies not meeting the eligibility requirements in Article Four provision B, but having interest in education for applied science, computing, engineering, engineering technology, or other such disciplines as may be appropriate and whose goals can effectively support those of ABET may qualify for admission as Associate Member Societies of ABET.
  6. Applications for membership as Associate Member Societies must be approved by majority vote of the Board and subsequent ratification by the governing bodies of at least two-thirds of the combined total of the Member and Associate Members Societies.

V. Withdrawal

  1. A society may only withdraw from ABET effective at the end of an ABET fiscal year. Upon withdrawal, the society shall forfeit the equity, if any, it has in the assets of ABET and shall cease to have any rights or privileges in ABET. The society shall continue to be liable for any fiscal assessments until the effective date of withdrawal.
  2. Whenever a society fails to meet its responsibilities to ABET, such failure shall, at the option of the Board, constitute a request by the society to withdraw from ABET.

VI. Governing Body

  1. The governing body of ABET shall be the Board of Directors.
  2. The Board shall establish those policies and procedures needed to carry out the purposes defined in Article Two. It shall establish and modify as needed the Constitution, subject to the ratification procedure defined in Article Nine. It shall establish and modify as needed the Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, Accreditation Criteria and other policies of ABET. It shall establish the annual budget and member assessment formula and in all other ways maintain responsibility for the well being of ABET.
  3. The Board shall be comprised of individuals who serve as officers (Article Seven), Directors who are appointed by Member Societies, Associate Directors who are appointed by Associate Member Societies and Public Directors who are elected by the Board.
  4. Terms of service, including starting dates and duration, are set by the Board. Should a vacancy occur during a term of service, the Member Society or Associate Member Society shall select another Director or Associate Director to complete the term. Should a vacancy occur during a Public Director’s term of service, the Board shall select another Public Director. Completion of an unexpired term will not be counted toward the total allowable period of service.
  5. Directors are selected and appointed by their Member Societies, with each society appointing at least one but not more than three Directors. The number of additional Directors, above the minimum number for each Member Society, depends on the number of accredited programs for which the Society is responsible according to a formula created by the Board.
  6. Public Directors are individuals of trust and responsibility in their communities who are not otherwise affiliated with the specific professions represented by ABET. They enjoy all the privileges of governance including voting. Public Directors are elected by the Board. Their number, qualifications, and terms of service are defined by the Board.
  7. Associate Directors appointed by Associate Member Societies enjoy the full privileges of debate and discussion within the Board but are without vote, except for issues involving the membership of other Associate Member Societies.
  8. A quorum of the Board exists at a meeting when there is a majority of voting Directors present and at least two-thirds of the Member Societies are represented by at least one Director. The Board will establish and follow rules for voting.
  9. The Board shall schedule meetings to conduct its business. Special meetings may be called by the President, by at least three Officers, or by at least 15% of the Member Societies acting through their respective chief staff officers. All meetings will follow an established agenda that will be promulgated according to rules set by the Board. Methods for dealing with exceptions to the agenda shall be set by the Board.
  10. Actions of the Board will be recorded in an official report that will be made publicly available and sent to each Member and Associate Member Society. The Board will publish reports annually that 1) detail accomplishments of ABET, 2) provide a financial statement, and 3) provide a budget for the coming year.

VII. Officers

  1. The officers of ABET shall be a President, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The officers will each serve a one-year term except for the Treasurer who will serve a two-year term.
  2. The officers of ABET shall be elected by the voting members of the Board. No individual may serve as President for more than one term of office, not including that portion [if any] of the unexpired term of the preceding President.
  3. Officers shall be nominated from a group comprised of present and past Directors. The President-Elect serves a one year term of office and shall thereafter hold the office of President for the subsequent year and the office of Immediate Past President for the year subsequent thereto.
  4. In the event that any officer other than the President is unable to perform the requisite duties, the Board may elect a replacement.
  5. The Executive Committee will conduct essential ABET business that arises between meetings including the replacement of officers found unable to perform requisite duties. All such actions are subject to review by the Board at its next scheduled meeting.
  6. The Executive Committee is comprised of the Officers of the Board (as prescribed above), two members of the Board elected by the Board as liaisons for terms that are determined by the Board, the Executive Director of ABET who serves without vote and others as specified by the Board.
  7. Stewardship and fiduciary responsibility for ABET assets shall be the responsibility of the Board. The Treasurer, under the direction of the Board, shall have general supervision of the fiscal affairs of ABET and shall be responsible for the keeping of records thereof. ABET shall obtain an annual audit of its financial operation by an independent certified public accountant whose selection shall be approved annually by the Board.

VIII. Accreditation

  1. In pursuit of its purposes (Article Two), ABET will conduct accreditation of educational programs.
  2. The ABET Board delegates responsibilities for conducting accreditation activities to the Accreditation Commissions. Appointments of members to the Accreditation Commissions are approved by the Board.
  3. The Accreditation Commissions are responsible for conducting accreditation evaluations of educational programs and rendering decisions on these programs based on policies and accreditation criteria that have been approved by the Board. The Accreditation Commissions shall make final decisions, except for appeals, of accreditation actions. In the event of an appeal of a commission’s action, the Board shall render the final decision on behalf of ABET.
  4. Each Accreditation Commission is responsible for the continuous review and improvement of its particular criteria, policies, and procedures. All changes to the accreditation criteria and policies require approval by the Board. The Board will determine the means for obtaining these approvals.

IX. Amendments

Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed at any meeting of the Board, by the President or by at least 15% of the Member Societies acting through their representative chief staff officers. . Proposed amendments shall be circulated with the agenda of the next Board meeting. Approval of amendments requires a majority vote of the Board and subsequent ratification by the governing boards of at least two-thirds of the Member Societies.

X. Dissolution

The ABET corporation may be dissolved in accordance with the law of the State of New York.

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Seven societies founded ABET's predecessor, the Engineers' Council for Professional Development, in 1932. Today, ABET has 33 member societies representing many disciplines.