Is there any other industry with more non-profit
trade associations than the education industry?
The large number of education industry trade associations may well be the defining characteristic of an industry that is both a business and a culture. Education professionals like to, well — “educate” — and that is likely part of the reason there are so many of them (apart from the incentives for “membership organizations” in the US tax code). None other than a largely non-profit industry could sustain this characteristic. With this list we hope to enlighten understanding of the regulatory landscape where trade associations compete for membership revenue and the status as the “leader” and “opinion aggregator”.
We suggest that it is unwise for consensus standards developers — ANSI accredited, open-source or ad hoc peer-to-peer collaborations — to assume that any one of them can claim authority to speak for an entire industry with one voice. The list below should support this claim. National standards bodies, legislators and regulators need to be mindful of this fact. The fragmentation of interests that we see in American society as a whole is conveyed into the education sector. This characteristic presents challenges and opportunities.
ACUTA | Association of College & University Technology Advancement (formerly Association of College & University Cable Television Administrators)
ACUPCC | American College & University Presidents Climate Change Commitment (changed to SecondNature.ORG)
APPA | Leadership in Education Facilities (formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators)
CLSI | Clinical Laboratory Safety Institute (services for-profit research enterprises also)
IFMA | International Facility Management Association (Has public sector membership)
NCAA | National Collegiate Athletic Association
NCCI | National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education
NFMA | National Fleet Management Association (Membership includes colleges and universities)
NIRSA | National Intramural Recreational Sports Association
NAICU | National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
SI | The Simon Institute
N.B. There are regional subdivisions of the organizations on the foregoing list
Last update: April 1, 2018
- A “wicked problem” is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. The use of the term “wicked” here has come to denote resistance to resolution, rather than evil. Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems.