New UNL College of Engineering Dean, Tim Wei, has initiated discussions with the faculty and staff to propel Nebraska Engineering into a vital role among the nation’s leading engineering programs, many of which are Big Ten institutions. As part of his presentations, Wei has outlined three principles and five main fundamentals to guide the college’s progress over the next five years. They are introduced here as general outlines for further development by the college’s faculty and staff and other involved constituents.
For alumni and friends, these guiding principles and fundamentals give an inside look at what will help drive the college to become a leader in undergraduate engineering education and science research. Throughout the next several years, goals and objectives will be developed and implemented to gain ground in these areas.
Three Guiding PRINCIPLES
1. EXCELLENCE IN THE FUNDAMENTALS:
Do what we do. Do it better than anyone else.
2. UNIMPEACHABLE INTEGRITY: Of what value is it to gain the world and lose our souls?
3. DYNAMIC ADAPTATION TOWARD EXCELLENCE: Good is the enemy of great.
The Five FUNDAMENTALS
1. We will be excellent in undergraduate education. As a college, we must remain true to our legacy and our commitment to outstanding undergraduate education. This means we offer outstanding curricula, state-of-the-art tools and facilities, committed teachers, and a student support infrastructure that will enable students to grow and thrive while they complete their degrees.
2. We will be internationally known for our fundamental engineering science research.
Ultimately, the reputation of the College of Engineering lies in the strength of our basic research in engineering sciences. It is the archival publications and the faculty presence at research conferences that build the intellectual knowledge base and provide the platform for multidisciplinary problem solving. Growing this fundamental research enterprise has to be a major focus for us going forward.
3. We will be leaders of large multidisciplinary teams addressing complex problems of socio-technological importance.
An equally important and perhaps the most visible role of an engineering college is solving complex technological problems of importance to society. This requires not only world-class basic engineering science expertise but also the ability to team in multidisciplinary ways. It’s imperative that we model these problem-solving skills for our students and integrate them into their curricula.
4. We will engage and partner with our constituent communities.
In order to solve problems of societal importance, we need to team with all the communities with whom we interface. This includes working with the K-12 STEM community to prepare and engage future engineering students, partnering with industry to develop new methods and technologies, collaborating with government to advance the engineering science knowledge base and to build meaningful and sustainable technology policy, working with underrepresented groups/cultures to ensure that everyone is an equal partner in this enterprise, and soliciting the help of alumni in all of these activities.
5. We will focus on service at all levels from the individual to the institution.
Last but most important, we must never lose sight of our service mission as a college and as the individuals comprising the college. If we look at the job descriptions of everyone in the college, the primary function is about serving students, the state, and society as a whole. It is this singular focus on service that will allow us to successfully fulfill the other four fundamentals listed above.
UNL COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING – By the Numbers
Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty: 160
Undergraduate Student Enrollment (Fall 2011): Total: 2,717
Lincoln Programs: 1,892
Omaha Programs: 825
Undergraduate Student/Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Student Enrollment (Fall 2011): 659
# of Alumni: 24,626*
Bachelor of Science Degrees Awarded (2010-11): 446
Other (associate degree in Fire Technology): 6
Master’s Degrees Awarded (2010-11): 113
Doctoral Degrees Awarded (2010-11): 34
Research Expenditures: $38.9 million
*with known addresses