by Claire Bilodeau
As is the tradition, the Education and Research Section has a morning meeting, over continental breakfast, at the Annual Meeting. Since that meeting signifies the end of a term and the beginning of a new one, it offers the perfect setting for presenting the past activities and realizations, as well as the planning for the year to come.
As both the outgoing Chair, myself, and the incoming Chair, Tom Edwalds, were in attendance, we thought we would seize the opportunity to officially pass the baton!
Hence, I spoke of what happened over the past twelve months. There was the usual: Expanding Horizons, ARC (which, in a sense, was unusual because of its venue - Mexico City), meeting sessions, etc. There also was the unusual, in the sense that the restructuring of the Society has given us more of a role within the organization as a whole; for example, we had a representative on the Accreditation Task Force.
Tom Edwalds naturally spoke of things to come. He started with an overview of the current section membership. Who would have guessed that academics accounted for less than 20%? He pointed out that education and research are the core activities of the Society of Actuaries, and that the restructuring of the SoA presents an opportunity to increase the prominence of our Section. He then presented his team and highlighted the need for our section to connect better. The need for better connections is threefold: to the pre–ASA education process, to SoA research activities and to relevant non–actuarial organizations.
In attendance were about forty people, including Stuart Klugman. He updated everyone on the decisions made at the Board of Governors meeting held over the weekend. We were informed regarding the recommendations of the Accreditation Task Force being put on hold until the Alternate Route Task Force would present its own report. We found out how financial economics would re–enter the syllabus at the pre–ASA level. We also heard of the creation of a new ERM credential.
All in all, we had a very informative breakfast, which led to very interesting discussions. The section is in good hands and next year's continental breakfast at the Annual Meeting promises to be even more interesting. Perhaps, we ought to turn it into a longer, hot breakfast!