Moshe Kam IEEE President
Appointment of Dr. Moshe Kam to Dean, Newark College of Engineering
3 April, 2014

ENGINEERING AS A LIBERAL ART: an address to the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit (The Debating Chamber, Scottish Parliament; Edinburgh, Scotland; 14 August 2012)
14 August, 2012

Comments during the dedication of an IEEE Milestone on the World’s First Reliable High Voltage Power Fuse, 1909 (3 August 2012, Chicago, IL, USA)
3 August, 2012

Comments at the Dedication of the IEEE Milestone Mainline Electrification of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1895 (21 June 2012, Baltimore, MD)
9 July, 2012

Comments at the installation of the Iota Lambda Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu at the University of Hong Kong (13 January 2012)
13 January, 2012

Comments at the Unveiling of the IEEE Milestone on the Apollo Guidance Computer, Cambridge, MA
13 December, 2011

Roger Pollard (1 June 1946 - 3 December 2011)
4 December, 2011

As 2011 draws to a close...
3 December, 2011

Member Letter – U.S. Hurricane Irene/Floods
10 September, 2011

Message to IEEE Volunteers and Members in Japan
14 March, 2011

It Is About Value (Not About Price)
11 February, 2011

A Small Miracle in Hyderabad
27 January, 2011

So you are traveling a lot, eh?
17 January, 2011

How Should We Proceed with IEEE’s Humanitarian Efforts?
1 January, 2011

IEEE and Haiti
20 January, 2010

A Most Impressive Quasquicentennial in Hyderabad
7 January, 2010

My New Year Resolution - Seeking Less Experienced Volunteers
2 January, 2010

Mail about IEEE Spectrum article - Powerless in Gaza
26 December, 2009

The list of new IEEE Fellows is out
15 December, 2009

In praise of three tough guys from Trinidad
25 November, 2009

Who will be the 50th President of IEEE?
23 November, 2009

Smart Grid and Standards Search - the Board of Directors approves new initiatives
22 November, 2009

Globalization and Music - a Visit to the IEEE France Section
12 November, 2009

Moshe Kam elected IEEE 2010 President-Elect
7 October, 2009


In praise of three tough guys from Trinidad

I am in San Juan, Puerto Rico tonight, planning to participate over the Thanksgiving break in activities of CACET – the Caribbean Accreditation Council of Engineering and Technology. CACET, a new agency that would accredit educational English-taught programs (and later probably also programs that use other languages), is an IEEE success story. It has been in formation for about three years, and will start full-fledged accreditation visits in 2010. Given the complexity of such operations and the fact that seven (7) different nations are involved, this organization sprung to life with amazing zest.

Most programs that would be clients of CACET were accredited before by agencies from outside the Caribbean. Many IEEE volunteers, both inside and outside the Caribbean, have become increasingly uncomfortable with the idea that foreign accreditation teams from a small number of countries (where accreditation was established early) will forever travel to their home institutions in order to tell them how to run their institutions. Solutions of this kind may have worked in the past, when the gap between institutions and programs in different parts of the word was markedly wider. Given the academic excellence that had emerged in many regions of the world, including regions which clearly lagged behind only 20-30 years ago, it is only natural that local educators and leaders of industry would want to take control of their own fate. They now seek to develop and maintain their own accreditation bodies, use local home grown program evaluators, and shatter in the process the myth that all wisdom resides with the old aristocracy.

The birth and growth of CACET is a tribute to several dedicated (and tough) IEEE volunteers who work in the West Indies University in Trinidad and Tobago. They include Brian Copeland who is now Dean of Engineering there; Chandrabhan Sharma, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Clement Imbert, who, among his many public duties over the years, is serving now as Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission. This trio, with help and significant support from other Caribbean islands, has managed to get this new accreditation organization to the point that, only three years after the initial plans were discussed, it already trains program evaluators, and has prepared and sealed its instructions, manuals and procedures. CACET is "ready to go," and go forward it will.

Next year the new CACET evaluators will be "in the field," reviewing student work and syllabi, providing feedback, evaluating programs, and making in the process enormous contribution to the quality of technical and engineering education in their countries. It was all done very professionally, using the best practices of IEEE, and taking full advantage of the very strong network of IEEE volunteers worldwide.

CACET demonstrates that a few determined volunteers can facilitate real change. IEEE members who are determined to harness the power of the organization to do good by the profession and by society are very often unstoppable.

Moshe Kam ( ) ECE Department, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
The opinions expressed on this website are the opinions of the author and not necessarily the opinions of the IEEE