February 03, 2005

Lach appointed to state licensing board

by Pete Rosenbery

norm lach

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CARBONDALE, Il. — Norman L. Lach, an assistant professor of architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, recently became a member of the State of Illinois Architecture Licensing Board.

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich appointed Lach to a four-year term. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation oversees the board, which consists of five licensed architects with at least 10 years of active practice.

Lach is the first SIUC faculty member appointed to the licensing board in its more than 100-year history. The Illinois Architecture Act, enacted in 1897, was the first architecture licensing law in the nation.

"It is an honor to be selected to be on the board," said Lach, an SIUC faculty member since 1974.

The board is not a policing agency but the goal is "protecting the public's health, safety and welfare," Lach said. The board provides curriculum evaluation, conducts oral interviews, advises on disciplinary matters, and provides expert advice on professional conduct and performance.

There are more than 9,000 architects licensed in Illinois, Lach said. Typically, anyone coming out of high school is likely looking at a minimum of nine to 10 years of school and training

before earning the official designation of architect. That includes four to six years of undergraduate and graduate classes, and another three to five years in an internship. Candidates must also pass the national Architectural Registration Exam.

The School of Architecture is part of SIUC's College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

"Norm Lach's appointment is recognition of the fine contributions he has made to the field of architecture," Dean Paul D. Sarvela said. "This appointment is based on not only his teaching expertise, but also his reputation in Illinois regarding the practice of architecture. An extraordinary faculty member, he represents the very best of Southern Illinois University Carbondale."

Lach participates in numerous professional organizations and educational advancement activities, and is the recipient of several awards for his work. He will receive the 2005 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Distinguished Educator of the Year Award ­ the first time the organization is honoring an architectural educator. He was the 2003 Association of Licensed Architects Educator of the Year, and in 2002, received the Excellence in Education Award from the American Institute of Architects Illinois.

Lach holds an associate degree from Wright College in Chicago, and bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture from the University of Illinois.

Lach first became interested in architecture while in high school; he graduated in 1966 from Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. He began teaching in 1973 while a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

There is a myriad of options for students who graduate with a degree in architecture, he said.

"You find that niche," he said. "In architecture, you get a well-rounded background in terms of design and planning."

Lach emphasizes that students must like what they do, and that a strong work ethic is important in the time-demanding program.

"You don't have to be the best student; you don't have to have the greatest ACTs," he said. "But if you have a strong work ethic you will be successful."

Lach and his wife, Peggy, live in Murphysboro with their sons, Norman M. Lach and Nick Lach.

Celebrating faculty excellence is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

(Caption: Making Sure It’s Right – Norman L. Lach, longtime assistant professor of architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was recently appointed to the State of Illinois Architecture Licensing Board. Lach, of Murphysboro, has taught at SIUC since 1974.) Photo by Russell Bailey