Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 44

Recommendation 44
Department Engineering Technology
Consensus Opinion 8 out of 8 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation Recommendation 44 fails to recognize items in two key areas with respect to the Engineering Technology (ET) programs:

Efficiency: The three ET programs represent more than 600 students and are already in one department sharing an office, secretary and chair. The ET programs utilize the same laboratories as the Engineering programs scheduling 21 lab sections in F07 after the other Engineering programs scheduled. In effect the ET programs utilize the excess lab capacity of the college with no additional costs i.e. with no added technician or lab support.

Quality: All three ET programs are nationally accredited, since 1976, by the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) a part of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

ECET Response
The program notes the committee’s concern with declining enrollments and is already working on the issue. However as is often noted concerning engineering programs demand is cyclic and the average enrollment for the department, over 35 years, has been 600 students, 300 for ECET. An example of this cyclical nature is Civil Engineering, currently one of the largest programs with 1400 students. However their 30 year average is closer to 800 and the program was as low as 550 within the past 5 years. The ECET program had one other similar decline in enrollment in the 1990’s but recovered from that. A key advantage of having all three ET programs in one department is these cyclical changes are absorbed relatively easily within one department to minimize disruptions to the students. This sort of adjustment would be impossible if the ECET program was merged with another department.

Student GPA levels are not substantially different than the other Engineering programs and is also an indication of the challenging nature of the coursework. ECET graduates are highly sought after by industry for high salary positions which is another measure of program quality.

The program will work with the Dean to establish an appropriate MFR but the campus determines admission and external and internal departmental transfer requirements.

With regards to merging; the ECET program works jointly on many projects with ECE and other Engineering departments and occasionally with CS and CIS. However, ECET shares no courses with these programs except non-technical GE. The program does allow courses from these majors for elective credit. The ECET program shares more than 36 units of coursework with the other two ET programs which reduces duplication and increases efficiency. Most of these shared units would have to be recreated in any merging to maintain accreditation of the program negating any cost savings.

Because of the above the Department believes there will not be a reduction in redundancies, the ET chair role would have to be recreated in triplicate as a coordinator in the three new merged departments. In addition adding 200+ students into these departments with their accompanying different programs, documentation, accreditation etc. would require the addition of clerical support which is currently accomplished by one secretary. The Engineering programs have already voted against merging.

With respect to new synergies and opportunities the opposite is likely. The proposed merger would combine programs of 200 some students into departments with more than 1000 students. It is unlikely the programmatic priorities and research interests of the smaller programs will be better served. In fact experience has shown when Engineering faculty taught ET courses almost no ET oriented research and industry interaction was pursued. The ET programs are currently active with joint projects, research and external funding with our faculty leading the program.

Merging would likely result in students leaving the university for a similar program resulting in a FTE reduction of 10% to 16% for the College of Engineering.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

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