The news that UGA is seeking to add engineering programs that overlap with ones offered at Tech raises numerous financial questions and questions of necessity. The timing of such an expansion is terrible, as the University System of Georgia (USG) is facing major budget cuts from the state legislature, and the price tag of engineering programs are amongst the highest of any fields. It seems unfathomable that UGA would be able to somehow swallow the costs of the program when the current financial climate is still very tumultuous. In the long run, UGA will need more money from the USG to support such an expensive school, which will no doubt cut into the budgets of other colleges.
The reasons for adding another engineering college within the state seem underdeveloped. Any student trying to enter the job market right now knows the engineering options are in short supply, and in Georgia, the options are even less. Many Tech alumni leave Georgia after graduation because of a lack of professional options within the state. UGA’s intention seems to based on desire rather than necessity. As long as the current model for the USG is in-place, UGA must realize and accept its role within the system. Just as there are reasons for why Tech does not have a program in education or journalism, there are reasons why UGA should not have an engineering program. If such a model is to be changed, then the full implications must be weighed before an overhaul takes place.
If the goal of the initiative is to simply offer Georgians another path to an engineering degree, than there are far better options for developing an engineering school. Southern Poly and Georgia Southern both already have more familiarity with the engineering field than UGA. Helping direct these schools into full-fledged engineering programs would satisfy this supposed purpose.