American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Candidate for President-Elect

Robert F. Burkard, PhD, CCC-A

ASHA Leader Interview | Video Interview | Video Transcript | All Candidates

Robert Burkard 2014Robert Burkard, PhD, CCC-A, is professor and chair in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at the University at Buffalo, which houses the occupational therapy and physical therapy programs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Buffalo State College and his master’s and PhD degrees in audiology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He completed an Audiology V.A. Traineeship at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. He has been a faculty member in Communication Disorders Departments at Boston University and the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Burkard served as chair of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S3 Bioacoustics, which is responsible for U.S. audiometric standards development. He is currently the chair of the working group that is responsible for developing an ANSI auditory evoked potential standard. He has served as the Editor for the American Journal of Audiology. He served as the audiology co-chair of the 2007 Annual ASHA Convention in Boston. He currently serves on ASHA’s Health Care Economics Committee and represents ASHA on the Audiology Quality Consortium. He was a member of the planning committee for the October 2012 ASHA Changing Health Care Landscape Summit. He recently served as chair of the ASHA Ad Hoc Committee on Interprofessional Education. He has served on federal grant-review panels, and he reviews articles for several professional journals. He was named an ASHA Fellow in 2005 and received the Honors of the Association in 2011.

His research has focused on human and animal auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). He has also been a co-investigator of functional imaging studies in humans (including PET and fMRI). He has, in recent years, become interested in vestibular and balance function. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, served as co-editor of several books, presented at numerous national and international meetings, and had some success in attracting extramural research support.

The ASHA Leader asked the candidates:

Given the position for which you are running, if you could change one thing about ASHA, what would it be?

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ASHA's deliberative nature is admirable, allowing for broad input on important issues. At times, however, this makes it challenging to nimbly respond to disruptive social upheaval, such as that presently arising from health care reform. For issues mandating immediate action, ASHA should create a "rapid response" mechanism. ASHA must actively promote the timely transformation of our professions. Health and educational reform require an emphasis on quality (not volume) of care. Our metamorphosis must be multifaceted: We need to bolster our public image, how we practice, our research priorities and how we educate students. We must break down professional silos, engage in inter-professional practice and become facile in the analysis of large databases to obtain the evidence that leads to best clinical practice across work settings.

Why are you running for President-Elect on the ASHA Board of Directors, and what would be your top priority if elected?

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