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Re: [BKARTS] AIC stuff

Thank you Peter for your views.  There is much to think about.

I am enclosing copy of an email I recently sent to the AIC, as well as the President's response, and my response to his email.  As you mentioned, a continuing conversation is important.  I am encouraged that he responded so quickly and positively.

Bruce Levy

To Whom It May Concern, (please forward to approprite persons)

I am  aconservator in private practice (Books and Manuscripts).  I am
a former prof. associate in the AIC (I left in 97 or 98)after about
eleven years as a member with nine years as a voting member.  One of
many reasons I left is the pervasive elitist, institution promoting
     I have read your "Defining the Conservator: Essential
Competencies" and am a bit distressed at your assumption that an
undergraduate degree is a prerequsite to being able to function as a
professional conservator.  There are many very competent conservators
that DO NOT have this backgroud, but DO have extensive experience in
all aspects of training through apprenticeships.  I think this needs
to be looked at carefully.
     I would appreciate a response to this as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Bruce Levy

Dear Mr. Levy,
> Thank you for your e-mail of September 5.     I am sorry to hear that you are no
> longer a member of AIC.  We would hope to welcome you back at some point.
> The Specialty Group of Conservators in Private Practice Is quite active, and we
> are planning on having a Specialty Group meeting with WAAC next year.
> The statement that you mention is in "Defining the Conservator: Essential
> Competencies" on page two:
> "Today it is increasingly assumed that the conservator must have an
> undergraduate university degree.  This basic level of formal education is generally
> regarded as helpful in attaining proficiency in critical thinking, communication,
> and resource organization and management.     All of these skills are important
> in every profession and field of endeavor involving reasoning.  Beyond
> undergraduate education,..."
> I believe that this statement was toned down from a previous one, which said
> that an undergraduate degree was required.  Some of us thought this was too
> strong.  I think that in the future, and with certification, the undergraduate
> degree will become more usual for people in the profession.  Nevertheless,
> there will still be people to be certified who have come up through the
> apprenticeship system, and some of them may not have undergraduate degrees.  I'm sure
> that this question will come up in the deliberations of the Certification Task
> Force.
> Undergraduate degrees do enter into membership qualifications.  It is
> mentioned on page AIC-2 of the 2003 AIC Directory, in the area of Professional
> Associates.  I believe, however, that qualified conservators who have come up
> through the apprenticeship system and do not have an undergraduate degree could also
> be accepted as Professional Associates, if they were supported by three
> Fellow or PAs.  The Fellow category is based on continuing experience and exchange
> of ideas.  And Associate membership is open to anyone.
> The perception that AIC is elitist and that it is an organization which
> promotes institutions is a perception that you share with others.  I, myself, feel
> that AIC is strongly a membership organization.  Since many of our members are
> institutional conservators, institutional problems and practices are
> important to us.  Other members are in private practice, and I think that the numbers
> of conservators in private practice are increasing, due to institutional
> budget problems and cutbacks.  AIC tries to support and interest and be responsive
> to all of its members.  I hope you will join again so that your voice can be
> heard and your vote counted.
> I will forward a copy of your e-mail and my response to Roy Perkinson, Chair
> of the and the Qualifications Task Force, and to Terry Drayman-Weisser, Chair
> of the Certification Task Force.
> Best,
> Tom Chase
> President, AIC


Dear Tom,

Thank you for taking the time to reply.  I understand all that you
said- I was a PA when I left after eleven or twelve years.  The same
questions that are being discussed now are the same questions that
were discussed in 1986-and on.
     I think the fact that such pronouncements DO NOT address the
very reality that some of the most qualified conservators have come
through apprenticeships, and that quite a few inept conservators have
come from the institutional route, and share unearned credibility for
having successfully "played the game" within the
institutional venue, will continue to disturb those who do much of
the real work.
     Private practice conservators, during my stay in the AIC, were
always the slightly gray sheep, whether they have a sub-group or not.
 And reading the most recent task force pronouncements leads me to
believe that nothing has changed.  The majority of the AIC membership
is aimed at promoting and rewarding the insitutional track.  That's
fine.  As long as what you do is legal, it obviously doesn't matter
what you do for your membership.  But don't be deluded into thinking
that your credibility extends outside your own house and the
institutions that evelope themselves in this symbiotic relationship.
I worked with many people who came through the institutional system
and I know what they are generally capable of- both good and bad.
     The institutional bent as "the way" has always been
put up either directly or indirectly in the AIC.  Perhaps that should
be brought up to the membership. Maybe the private practice
conservators, and institutional members who can "see" will
want to break off and form another organization, where innovation and
talent, and not bull shit, is what is the order of the day.  That is
an organization I would consider joining.  I cannot imagine any
changes in the AIC that would spur me to rejoin.
     As for certification, I can only speak of my experiences with
the book and paper people.  I wouldn't hire the people who are
clammering for the certification process.  I've worked with some of
them, and I've seen the work of others.  It will, again, eventually
take the mediocre and raise them to the level that members will
emulate, and drive the real talent from your membership- as it has
for years, though slowly.
     Feel free to also forward this to anyone you like.


Bruce Levy

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