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Joint Task Force On Academic Relations Releases White Paper For Comment

The Joint CAS, CIA, and SOA Task Force on Academic Relations recently released "A Partnership Between the Academic Community and the Actuarial Profession," a white paper identifying eight objectives of a partnership between the actuarial profession and the academic community. The paper concludes that a strong relationship between the profession and the academic community is critical to the success of the profession, for three reasons: it is essential to the development and communication of the scientific foundation of actuarial practice; there is new competition for future jobs from other disciplines that have developed academic programs focused on quantification of risk and its financial consequences; and models of actuarial education in the rest of the world are much more university-focused.

The white paper was distributed to all members of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), Society of Actuaries (SOA), Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), and the Actuarial Faculty Forum (AFF). In the paper, the task force articulates its vision of the academic/actuarial partnership by 2005, the partnership's objectives, and some initiatives to make the vision a reality.

Members can find the white paper and feedback form in the Academic Community section of the CAS Web Site (www.casact.org/academ/acadcov.htm). The task force will refer comments related to the alternative basic education issues to the CAS Education Policy Committee and to a new SOA Task Force on Education and Qualification 2005, which will have liaisons from the CAS and CIA.

The leadership of the three actuarial organizations wants feedback from their members before the organizations take action on the white paper. The white paper's cover letter points out that some ideas in the paper may be controversial. For example, one of the initiatives calls for an expanded role for universities in the basic education of actuaries. CAS President Alice Gannon, CIA President Stuart Wason, and SOA President Norman Crowder state in the cover letter: "The Boards have not had full discussion of the content of the white paper, and members should not interpret the distribution of the paper to be an endorsement of the vision or recommendations in the paper."

Completion of the white paper signals the dissolution of this task force, which included Fred Kilbourne, Bill Wilkins, and Dale Porfilio as the representatives of the CAS. To carry forward the work of the task force, the CAS, CIA, and SOA approved the formation of a new Joint CAS, CIA, and SOA Committee on Academic Relations with a charge to encourage and facilitate a partnership between the actuarial profession and the academic community. This committee will develop recommendations for new initiatives based on the white paper, member comments, and additional research. The new committee will be chaired by Dale Porfilio and will include Nasser Hadidi, Don Mango, and Alice Underwood.