May 3, 2009

Oh Joy! ABET time again!

It has been a hectic month with many deadlines and trips rearing their head in May like the weeds in my neglected lawn. One of the activities that has been eating my lunch is preparing the ABET report which is due sometime this summer.

As with all organizational reviews, reports are called for; the ABET report is a doozy. And like all reports on whose outcome rests money, power, or prestige, there are a few kernels of truth hidden behind a lot of smoke and mirrors. As I've gained more experience with such report writing over my career I've come to recognize that in writing such reports the smoke and mirrors insidiously over time slip into the minds of those who read and write such reports as truth, no matter how far from truth the report was originally.

Since most of the writing is falling to one or two people with reviews and edits by others we needed a way to label the information for veracity so we don't come to believe our own, uh, "creative interpretation" of our program. So I developed the series of "veracity levels" below modeled after the government's much-mocked terror alert levels.

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