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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA



This Charter presents the terms of reference for an Advisory Board established to work with The University of Iowa’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The terms of reference may evolve as the Board and the Department find appropriate. Mission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering The Department's mission is to serve the citizens of Iowa and the nation by disseminating and developing technical information aimed at improving the physical infrastructure and environmental well-being of society. In particular, the Department's faculty, research professionals, and staff aim to --

  • Provide a well-rounded and superior engineering education that graduates talented and creative engineering professionals. In so doing, the Department draws upon the broad resources of a comprehensive university that has strong programs in liberal arts and sciences, that offers a wide range of professional programs, and that aspires to be among the best public research universities.
  • Conduct high-quality research in selected significant areas. In so doing, faculty, research professionals, and students would keep pace with, as well as participate in the development of, new knowledge and technologies.
  • Offer the Department’s facilities and expertise as a resource for its constituencies.

The interdisciplinary nature of civil and environmental engineering makes the Department a central and vital unit in the College. In this respect, an important strategic activity for the Department is to foster interdisciplinary activities across departments and colleges, as well as with other units at The University of Iowa.

Function of the Advisory Board


The principal function of the Board is to interact with the faculty, research professionals, staff, and students of the Department in an advisory capacity, with particular emphasis on the educational facet of the Department’s mission. It is anticipated that Board members’ experience in a wide range of engineering activities will help to enhance the Department's productivity and contributions to the constituencies the Department serves.

The Board's considerations shall include, but not be limited to, the following activities of the Department --

  • Development of contemporary curricula that are responsive to the needs of civil and environmental engineering practice and research, as well as to society overall. • Strengthening of links between the Department and its engineering-practitioner constituencies.
  • Assistance in curriculum quality control as reflected in outcomes assessment and related issues involving program accreditation.
  • Creation of internship and coop educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in order to increase student involvement in engineering practice.
  • Suggestions on current and evolving needs in research.
  • Providing advice to the Department on effective means to generate external financial support to carry out its mission.

Board Membership


The Board shall comprise about 12 to 14 people. The Departmental Executive Officer (DEO), the Dean of the College of Engineering, and the Director of External Relations of the College of Engineering shall serve as ex-officio members.

Criteria for the Board membership include the following --

  • Current engagement, in a senior or an exemplary capacity, in civil and environmental engineering at a consulting, industry, government, or academic unit.
  • Expressed interest in the mission of the Department.

Overall, Board membership shall reflect the discipline areas encompassed by the Department’s engineering-practice constituencies, and shall reflect their predominant geographic locations.

Board membership shall include alumni and employers.

Board members and the faculty and staff of the Department may suggest nominees for the Board membership to the Department Executive Officer (DEO). The DEO, in consultation with the faculty, shall make the final decision on the membership after appropriate consultation. The membership term shall be four years. Members shall be eligible for one reappointment with expressed interest.


Board Organization and Meetings


The Board shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among its regular members. The term of office shall be two years for both positions. The Chairperson shall preside at the Board meetings. The Board and the Department shall define meeting procedures.

The Board shall meet at least once during each academic year. The meeting shall be for one day in duration and shall be normally held in Iowa City, but may be held in other locations acceptable to the Board members. The meetings shall be devoted to agenda items prepared by the DEO, in consultation with the Board Chairperson, and distributed in advance to the Board. Agenda items may be suggested by any member of the Board and by the Department's faculty. The DEO shall be responsible for the timely preparation and distribution of minutes from the meeting. The minutes shall be distributed to the Board as well as to the Department's faculty, research professionals, and staff.

Since the Board is intended to be advisory, and its meetings are for the purpose of exchanging information and views, no formal action is required of it. However, on occasion, the Board may be asked to review or comment upon selected topics in civil and environmental engineering.