Certification - Who'll run it?

Subject: Certification - Who'll run it?
From: "Larry Kunz ((919) 254-6395)" <ldkunz -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 15:33:41 EST

Paul Cheverie in Winnipeg, Manitoba, characterized the former leaders
in his STC chapter as "belligerently elitist. . . and profoundly
dictatorial." He therefore questions STC's motives for "pushing"
certification, wondering if perhaps the whole thing is "a badly
orchestrated attempt to corner the market."

Gosh, Paul, I don't think so. A few people -- on both sides of the
issue -- are no doubt speaking out of simple self-interest; but most
have the good of the whole profession at heart.

Allow me to point out, in the most unbelligerently unelitist voice I
can muster, that STC isn't pushing certification at all. Quite a few
of our members are, of course. And some of the most vocal of those
members are in Canada -- a country which lacks even a single degree
program in TechComm. What STC is "pushing" is a thorough, informed
study of the issue.

You do raise a valid point: Does STC, which is chartered as
a "scientific, literary, and educational" organization, have any
business running a certification program? Maybe not. It's different
from anything we've ever done before. If we do it, STC will never
again be the same (which might, I admit, be a good thing).

That's why some people have proposed spinning off a separate body, or
creating an alliance with other professional societies, to set up and
run a certification program. I like this idea: It'll reduce
suspicion that the certification debate is driven by hidden agendas,
and it'll enable STC to continue doing what it's always done without
diverting all its energy and resources to certification.

I'd be interested in hearing opinions on this -- off-list, preferably,
as this is more of an STC issue than a profession-wide issue.

Larry Kunz
STC Assistant to the President for Professional Development
ldkunz -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com

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