Jeff Ruello came to the LSPS Board asking that his open letter be published in the l’Arpenteur, even if he had to run it as an advertisement. The result of the discussion was an idea to start a l’Arpenteur Letters column. Several months later Jeff is anxious to share his thoughts with other LSPS members so here is his letter.
Jeff Ruello, PLS wrote:
CRISIS IN OUR PROFESSION
I am writing this letter to express my grave concern and my frustration with our profession in the State of Louisiana.
Since 1995, when the majority voted to institute a four year degree program for licensing, I have notice a sharp decline in the number of individuals interested in land surveying as a profession, not only those aspiring to become registered but all others who work or worked as Party Chiefs and Instrument Operators. The reason I believe this is happening is that these people have no place to go and therefore no other choice but to leave the field of surveying.
In trying to upgrade our profession I feel we did nothing but shoot ourselves in the foot. It is very impressive to say you need a four-year degree to practice surveying, but it does no good if there isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t anyone interested in land surveying.
I was shocked the other day when I called the State Board to find out how many Registered Surveyors have come from the four-year program. The gentleman could not give me an exact number at that time but he thinks it may be 20 or so new Surveyors (about 3 a year). I asked how many were reciprocal and he answered me none. To my amazement we do not reciprocate. Unless an individual has a four-year degree and the 30 requires hours of courses we prescribe he does not qualify to take the exam. This is a ridiculous rule and one that will come back to haunt us in the future. A Registered Land Surveyor from another state, with 30-40 years experience is not allowed to take our exam. ArenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we being a little full of ourselves? DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t these people earn our respect by passing the required exam in their State? DoesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t 30 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ40 years experience count for any thing? I hope the other states require the same from us for their sake.
How is a person from out of state suppose to get the 30 hours of courses we require? Even if a person can take these courses at night in his home state it would still take at least 4 semesters of night classes to achieve 30 hours.
I think we need to institute another means of achieving a Land Surveying License in Louisiana. Why not have a combination of work experience and college. How about we start recognizing other states and other countries surveying schools and their curriculums to be as good as ours. Just doing that would surly ease the shortage of qualified people in our profession.
I urge all members of LSPS to express their concerns to their District President so that we may be able to prevent this crisis in our profession from becoming our downfall.
J.F. Ruello, P.L.S.
(Published by permission.)