March 26, 2004
The Spring 2004 Advisory Board Meeting was held in the Pioneer Student Center. Jerry Dassler welcomed everyone. Jeff Mazanec introduced two new members,
- Kurt Koller – Badger State Ethanol
- Jeffrey Gafner – Marquip
Full introductions went around the room.
Jerry Dassler said that this being an even year starts a new election process. He had Jeff Mazanec, Chair of the Nominating Committee, explain the process according to the Bylaws of the Advisory Board. When the two-year term is up, the Vice Chair of the Advisory Board moves to the Chair of the Board; the Chair of Advisor Board moves to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, and the Chair of the Nominating Committee is done. With that rotation a new Vice Chair of the Advisory Board needs to be elected.
The 2004-2006 nominees are:
Chair - Jim Schneller
A motion was made by Arnie Mohlman and seconded by Dan Bartel to accept these nominees. Discussion followed and the question was called. All were in favor.
Rich Shultz provided an update on the State of the College.
- Fox Valley Initiative – We received funding and are now delivering courses. A newly funded $359,000 laboratory recently opened with an open house in February. There are 120 students in the program. Of those there are 48
students taking engineering courses. The first graduate will be approximately spring 2006. ABET will be here in fall 2006 so the program will fall under this review. Thank you to all who wrote letters to Senators, lobbied for us, and solicited monies for this initiative.
- Janesville Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Program – The funding bill was passed by the Legislature and turned down by the Governor. In November Debbie Towns, 47 District, reintroduced the bill to the Assembly. Dale Schultz introduced a companion bill in the Senate. The Legislature passed the bill. John Gard struck a deal with the Governor and hopefully he will sign and approve the bill in early April.
- Tri-State Initiative – The Governor proposed that we increase the number of students that graduate in
the technical areas. UWP will increase the population of students from 6,000 to 8,000. We are going to attract students from Iowa and Illinois. We have proposed that students from those two states pay instate tuition plus a $4,000 premium. The whole tuition will stay here at UWP to pay for incremental costs such as the hiring of more staff (faculty, classified, and academic staff), two new facilities, and more dormitories. The Board of Regents approved the plan. It will start by accepting 200 new freshmen from Iowa and Illinois in the fall 2005. Increasing to 400 additional student fall 2006 and so on. This program is only for entering freshmen, and will be for this campus only. We will not be increasing the size
of classes, but the number of classes (not the first year, but when funding kicks in 2006). Admission standards
will stay the same. With that in mind, the following improvements will be made on campus. Ullsvik will be remodeled. We will have a new engineering building costing around 13 million (6,800 square feet) to allow for the growth of 1,000 students in engineering. This building will go where the current track is located. The track will move to the stadium. There will be renovation to Ottensman starting in 2007/2008, and will cost around 20 million which will be state funded.
- Update on Ullrich – The whole building has been gutted and the construction has now started to reassemble the interior. The outside of the building can not be touched because it is on the Historical Register. Ullrich, when completed, will house the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. The scheduled completion date is December 2004.
Rich Shultz provided details about the breakout committee assignments as follows:
- Chemistry and Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering University North
- Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, General Engineering Mississippi Room
- Mathematics, Computer Science and Software Engineering Mining
In the Fall 2006 the engineering programs will go through ABET accreditation. Each program will start writing their
self-studies in the spring 2005. The Advisory Board is charged to meet with the Department representatives and/or
Chairs, and discuss their program(s). Chairs or representatives are to bring these issues back at 3:00 p.m.
for discussion and the Board can give more input at that time.
Rich Shultz introduced Tammy Salmon-Stephens, Senior Director of the Women in Engineering Programs and
Engineering Advising Office. She, along with four women engineering students, gave a presentation to the Advisory Board members on The Tools Workshops.
The Advisory Board then broke for lunch.
The afternoon breakout sessions met from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Notes from afternoon sessions follow.
Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics --
- EP also presented its program goals and objectives to the Board members and asked for their comments.
- A discussion was held regarding the importance of written and oral communication skills of the graduates and how to improve these skills. Board members felt that long written reports are okay, but a short and concise summary is essential otherwise managers in industry will not read them. Board members pointed out the importance of student presentations before they graduate. Also, a discussion was held regarding team building and leadership skills. Board members indicated that the team must first be “chartered”, i.e. operating rules, definition of success, ground rules for
- A discussion was held regarding “employer surveys” and how the response rate could be improved. Board members indicated that a telephone survey may be the best way to get better response.
- J.J. Wilson indicated that EP graduates are having difficulty in securing interviews with companies since companies are not that familiar with the EP degree. Board members suggested EP keep “beating the bushes” to get the word out, but also make contact and spread the word during ABET survey collection, board meetings, etc.
- A discussion was held regarding including biology/biotechnology/MEMs etc. in the undergraduate curriculum and how it will be viewed by industry. Overall impression was that it would not make a difference one way or another.
- Other discussion topics included a re-affirmation that what makes UWP Engineering special is the hands-on, application oriented approach to education.
- The Board was asked for input regarding the placement of students with low GPAs such as 2.2/4.0. Members indicated that in such cases, a strong recommendation letter from faculty will help.
- Finally members were asked how globalization had affected their companies, and to comment on the value, say, of an international exchange versus co-op experience. The response was that it depends on the company and the career path. International experience
adds breadth and it is up to the students to sell his/her experience to the company.
Chemistry -- Jim Hamilton said in addition to what Mesut Muslu stated discussion was made on the strengths in the program and also on growth. Students need hands-on experience in chemistry in the research and design work by instrumentation. The Department should increase alumni involvement in technical and non-technical areas.
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and General Engineering --Kurt Rolle and Joanne Wilson said that there is
concern that the industrial base is going out to foreign countries because of less expensive cost. The question of what do we as an educational institution need to do was asked? Educators need to be proactive with directors saying we can be more competitive. There was discussions on computer programming logic falling out of the mechanical and industrial engineering areas. It needs to be put back in. Last thing they discussed was etiquette on emails.
Computer Science and Software Engineering --Rob Hasker reported that they went over the current curriculum. A discussion occurred on courses and out-sourcing issues. The Department is looking at more programming to be added into
curriculum down the road.
Mathematics --It was reported that there is a proposal for more actuarial studies as an emphasis in the Mathematics Department.
Civil and Environmental Engineering --Max Anderson reported that there was discussion on department goals and assessment. Feedback is needed back from employers and alumni, and they typically don’t respond well. It was suggested to
do a phone survey instead. Some of the different goals that were discussed for the department are: to require co-op/internship experience and track placement rate. Under curriculum issues 1) students wish they didn’t have to take Physics II, 2) issues
addressing ethics of software licensing use should be addressed, and 3) communications skills including technical, business and interpersonal.
Rich Shultz asked if phone surveys could be done effectively if students were hired to handle the calls versus staff members? Jim Schneller said that the student would need to know up front what to say and how to handle the call. Philip Parker said he would
like to use a private consultant (knows that will cost money). David Kaul felt that training and script is important. Should keep phone calls short, 10-15 minutes, because people don’t have time to sit and discuss.
Rich Shultz asked everyone to return nametags and check their names for address changes, etc. He thanked everyone for coming, and mentioned that he thought it has been a fun past two years and very productive with Jerry Dassler as Chair. He also thanked Jerry for his dedication to UWP.
Jerry Dassler thanked everyone for attending and appreciated their input in the programs. Thought it is very exciting news about the expansion of the College and University. He thanked everyone again and also for their expression of appreciation.
Next Advisory Meeting is scheduled for be Friday, October 8, 2004.