Our hopes for the next Dean of the College of Engineering

Photo courtesy of Institute Communications

While outgoing College of Engineering Dean Gary May made great strides in areas such as diversity, we would still like to see changes made in other areas.

Among them is the need for promotion of smaller majors within the College of Engineering. Currently, the larger majors, including industrial engineering and mechanical engineering, comprise a large part of college of engineering student body and tend to include students with a wide variety of interests that may be better suited to one of the other engineering schools. A move to encourage students in one of these larger majors to instead be part of a smaller one would ease overcrowding and simultaneously revitalize smaller schools with dwindling student populations.

In addition, the College of Engineering’s students would benefit from more cross-disciplinary courses, which would allow engineering majors to gain different skill sets.

In regards to research, one program greatly needed in order to facilitate a stronger base of undergraduate researchers is the opportunity for them to work for zero credit hours if desired. Due to liability issues, in order to work as an undergraduate researcher, one must register the appropriate class for credit or for pay. In the summer, this leads to undergraduate students being faced with the decision of paying money for tuition to continue the research projects from prior semesters or deciding to not do anything over the summer.

Lastly, the College of Engineering’s various majors need more concentrations and specializations. While these may be easily visible in schools like that of MSE, others like ME either lack a roadmap towards specialization or the opportunity for it.

With the new Dean of Engineering as well as a start to a new semester imminent, it is our hope that these suggestions will lead to serious conversation.