Stuart H. Zweben, Ph.D., Named 2012 Grinter Award Recipient

November 1, 2012

Stuart H. Zweben, Ph.D.

Stuart H. Zweben, Ph.D.

Baltimore, MD - ABET has named Stuart H. Zweben, Ph.D., as the 2012 recipient of its Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award. Zweben accepted the award during the 2012 ABET Annual Awards Banquet in Baltimore on October 26.

Zweben, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University, was the 35th recipient of the Grinter award, ABET's highest honor. The award was named for engineering and engineering technology education pioneer Linton E. Grinter, and it recognizes ABET volunteers who follow Grinter's example and surpass even the highest service expectations of the organization.

Zweben's award citation stated,

"For outstanding leadership in computing accreditation worldwide, including more than 27 years of service to ABET and CSAB, and for being a catalyst behind the growth of computing accreditation in the United States over the last 25 years."

Zweben's Accreditation Activities

Zweben has been involved in computing program accreditation since its very onset. In the early 1980s, he played a key role in the Association for Computing Machinery's decision to join with the IEEE Computer Society to form the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, now CSAB. Zweben went on to become CSAB's President for 1989-91 and helped the organization gain recognition from the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA), a predecessor to today's Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

After CSAB and ABET merged operations during the late 1990s, Zweben ensured a strong framework for the newly formed Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC), both as a member and later as its 2007-2008 Chair.

"Stu's many accomplishments included leading the effort to develop outcomes-based criteria for the CAC," A. Joseph Turner, Jr., Ph.D., a leader in computing accreditation who received the 2011 Grinter Award, stated. "He was responsible for driving this process and shepherding the document through various revisions until its ultimate approval by the ABET Board of Directors."

After leaving the CAC, Zweben continued his exceptional ABET service as a member of the organization's Accreditation Council for five years, including as the council's Chair for 2009-11. This is when he developed procedures to evaluate programs delivered through non-traditional platforms, such associate's level online programs, and led an organization-wide task force to refine principles for evaluating programs based on their names. Furthermore, Zweben spearheaded an overhaul of the ABET Policies and Procedures Manual, which spells out the principles that govern the ABET accreditation process, and led efforts to harmonize the general criteria, Self-Study Templates, and other accreditation documents across ABET's four commissions.

"Stu worked tirelessly on these efforts to achieve not only unanimous consensus among the commissions' leadership on the Council, but subsequent approval by the ABET Board," current Accreditation Council Chair Douglas Bowman, Ph.D., P.E., recalled. "These major efforts have resulted in improvements to ABET processes and clarity to ABET policy for institutions and other stakeholders, providing consistency and operational benefits across all commissions and the programs they accredit."

Today, Zweben continues to serve ABET as a member of its Global Council. This body formulates and recommends to the ABET Board of Directors policies and procedures regarding Memoranda of Understanding and Mutual Recognition Agreements with other accreditors worldwide.

At The Ohio State University, Zweben chaired the Department of Computer Science and Engineering for 11 years. In addition, he was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration in OSU's College of Engineering for six years before he retired from the institution in 2011.

He is a Fellow of ABET, ACM, and CSAB.

About the Award

In 1972, ABET's predecessor, the Engineers' Council for Professional Development (ECPD), bestowed its first Distinguished Service Award upon Linton E. Grinter and also decided that henceforth the award be named in his honor.

Over his four decades as an ECPD volunteer, Grinter was a visionary leader and chaired the committee that produced the groundbreaking 1955 Report of the Committee on Evaluation of Engineering Education, now known as the "Grinter Report." Grinter's powerful insight into the future of technical professions inspired many of the advancements developed not only by the ECPD of yesteryear but by the ABET of today.

This award, ABET's highest honor, recognizes ABET volunteers who follow in Grinter's footsteps and acknowledges their outstanding contributions to technical education through their work in ABET-related activities. 

About ABET

ABET, the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology, is a federation of 31 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Among the most respected accreditation organizations in the U.S., ABET has provided leadership and quality assurance in higher education for more than 75 years.

ABET currently accredits over 3,200 programs at more than 670 colleges and universities worldwide. More than 2,000 dedicated volunteers participate annually in ABET activities. ABET also provides leadership internationally through workshops, memoranda of understanding, and mutual recognition agreements, such as the Washington Accord. ABET is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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Originally, "ABET" stood for "the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology." The organization changed its name to simply "ABET" in 2005.