ASEE Presidents Respond to Prism Letter


To the Editor of Prism

We, the President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past President of ASEE, disagree with the decision to publish Prof. Helmer’s Letter to the Editor in the September issue of Prism magazine. We have conveyed our concern to the Editor and to the Publisher.

His specious mischaracterization of the LGBTQ communities is unsupported by any reputable literature.  Prof. Helmer is entitled to his religious beliefs. However, Prism is not an appropriate place for him to air his judgment of others based on those beliefs.

We believe that we speak for the ASEE Board of Directors when we say that ASEE is committed to equal treatment and fairness for all. Please see the ASEE Diversity Statement at  We reaffirm our commitment to this statement.

To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we envision a world where engineering students and faculty, engineers, and in fact everyone, will not be judged by their gender, age, race, ethnic background, religion, disability, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation, but by the content of their character and their contributions to society.

Finally, we find the letter in question to be intolerant and prejudicial and not appropriate for publication in a magazine produced for professionals involved in engineering education. We will ask the Editor and the Publisher to review with us policies used in deciding the appropriateness of this letter and work to  ensure that Prism will not in the future consider such contributions.

Kenneth F. Galloway

ASEE President (2013-2014)

Nicholas J. Altiero

ASEE President-Elect (2013-2014)

Walter W. Buchanan

ASEE Immediate Past President (2013-2014)