URP’s director, Chuck Connerly, has received the Jay Chatterjee Award for Distinguished Service to Planning Education. The award recognizes individual faculty whose exceptional service, actions and leadership have had a lasting and positive impact on the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ASCP) and its member schools. Chuck has served the ACSP in many capacities and his contributions have greatly impacted and improved ACSP.
Chuck’s ACSP work spans 36 years and continues to this day. He has served as Regional Representative, Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER) editor, chair of eight committees (Institutional Data, Service Recognition, JPER Editor Selection, Chatterjee Award, Faculty Mentoring, Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) Advisory, Nominating and Elections, and Institutional Governance), vice president, president in 2011, and then past president. Chuck is described as having been ready to step forward when planning education had a need, and he has had the vision to use leadership opportunities to push planning education further toward its ideals.
During Chuck’s tenure as chair of the ACSP Faculty Mentoring Committee, the system of junior faculty mentoring was created. Chuck’s personal contact with many colleagues was critical in making this fledgling effort successful. The signature effort of Chuck’s ACSP presidency was support of women’s and minority representation among the ranks of planning faculty. A task force was created between 2011-2013 and a new Pre-doctoral Workshop for Students of Color emerged.
Under Chuck’s leadership, vision, and ability to work through difficulty, he guided ACSP through several sensitive challenges. Among them was ACSP’s efforts to push back against proposed changes in PAB’s accreditation standards and criteria that were viewed as retreating from earlier advances in the centrality of diversity in those standards. Connerly was the central figure who crafted compromise language that ACSP, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) all later adopted. His colleagues repeatedly describe him as supportive and humble, and “always welcoming new ideas and strategies for addressing challenges.”
The Chatterjee Award additionally recognizes faculty leadership at its member schools. At the University of Iowa, Chuck’s leadership and vision resulted in the creation of the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC), which is celebrating its tenth year. IISC involves student projects in partnership with Iowa communities across the state, allowing them to reap the benefits they would not otherwise have the means to pursue and for students to receive practical experience in their area of study. Chuck’s vision has contributed to spreading the knowledge of urban planning to every nook and cranny of the state. While it began in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, it has enhanced the education of students in many fields across the campus.