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Subject: Certification


From: Alison Luxner <alisonluxner>
Date: Thursday, December 5, 2002
A few more thoughts before sending in that ballot:

First, I would like to thank the members of the Task Force and
assure them that I value the enormous amount of work that they have
put into this difficult topic.  However, I remain convinced that
certification is not appropriate at this time.

The American Institute for Conservation does not have a juried
publication. The research and articles we publish do not pass a
formal peer review.  I expect that is what people are touching on
when they discuss our "body of knowledge" or lack thereof. There is
indeed some exciting research going on in our field, but we are not
presently distinguishing it from the sometimes sloppy work that also
gets published.  How can we expect to determine if the membership is
keeping up with new developments if we do not make that critical

As Terry Weisser acknowledges, we will need outside funding to
pursue certification.  We will also need hours and hours of
membership volunteer time.  Money and time are limited resources in
our organization, and ones which can be put to better use than
"gate-keeping".  I believe the main focus of the AIC is to share
knowledge and provide opportunities for collaboration.  Isn't the
effort better spent in providing more inexpensive, affordable forums
towards that end?

As a member of the Ethics and Standards Committee, I have seen a few
cases of questionable behavior within the AIC membership.  Please
understand that I am *not* speaking for the Committee: we have
different opinions on certification.  But in the past few years, it
has proved more successful to open the doors of communication than
to chastise an individual and alienate that person from the
organization. If the AIC forms new Committees with the power to
reject and un-certify members, I do not see how that can advance our
profession as a group.  Inclusive encouragement seems to me the
better approach. Respectfully,

Alison L. Luxner
Paper Conservator
Worcester Art Museum
Worcester, Massachusetts

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:38
                Distributed: Thursday, December 5, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-38-008
Received on Thursday, 5 December, 2002

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