The organization will work with former attorney general Eric Holder, Jr. to develop new recommendations for vetting awards recipients.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is reevaluating policy surrounding who it elevates and anoints in the profession. It’s the AIA’s latest move to improve equity in architecture and combat sexual harassment.
Today, the AIA announced it retained the services of the law firm Covington & Burling, LLP and its partner Eric Holder, Jr., former attorney general in the Obama administration. Holder’s firm will conduct a comprehensive review of how the organization selects recipients of its honor awards and decides who is elevated to the college of fellows, a group of AIA members considered to be the most exemplary architects.
Although the rules and processes governing AIA’s awards programs are currently effective at identifying design excellence, the AIA’s leadership believes they can be improved to better address issues of professional character, especially related to harassment of any kind, and to send a clear message that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in the profession… The recipients that AIA member juries elevate through the association’s Honors & Awards programs are, and should be, the very best in the architecture profession. Going forward the AIA will also acknowledge the highest professional standards.
In addition, the AIA announced recent procedural changes for awards which include making letters of reference confidential (intended to make disclosure of unethical behavior easier) and working with a third-party contractor to conduct random background checks on nominees “to better assure that candidates for awards, and for Fellowship reflect the values of the profession.”
Read on HERE >>> Source: Curbed Architecture and #MeToo: The AIA is changing how it honors architects