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1 The Academic Sector The Academic Sector Task Force focused its efforts on two issues: identifying those needs of engineers that relate to academia and identi- fying and evaluating the support organizations/mechanisms it felt were most important for individuals within the academic community and the academic community as a whole. This chapter presents the findings of the task force, which are summarized in the sections below. Each section discusses a need {or needs identified by the task force, existing support organizations/mechanisms relating to that need, and recommendations for improving the support currently being provided. Th`> 1~1 to Inform Prf~.~.alle~e Students About Engineering Most precollege students have a limited understanding of engineer- ing as a profession, in part because most precollege faculty and coun- selors do not have enough information on the subject to advise their students effectively. As a result, many students are ill-prepared to enter engineering curricula. Both of these problems must be addressed if the profession is to develop a solid reservoir of highly qualified students who consider engineering to be a desirable college curriculum choice. A number of support organizations and mechanisms currently exist for tackling these problems: 16

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THE ACADEMIC SECTOR Organizations Administrators / teachers / counselors E. . . . . ngmeermg 1nstltutlons Professional societies Media 17 Mechanisms Television and radio Motion pictures Industrial interaction Newspapers and periodicals University interaction From the studies of the task force, however, it appears that the sup- port organizations do not use the available mechanisms to introduce information on careers in engineering that is needed at the primary and secondary school levels. At best, college/university catalogs are sent to counselors' offices and to local professional society members. Practic- ing engineers or university faculty may make presentations to inter- ested students in advanced mathematics or physics classes or on such occasions as National Engineers Week. But there is no structured pro- gram to disseminate information about or promote interest in engi- neering at earlier stages of schooling. The task force recommends that a concerted effort be mounted to inform precollege educators about engineering as a profession and to stress the importance of developing a middle school/high school cur- riculum that will prepare students for a college engineering curriculum as well as stimulate their interest in engineering as a career choice. To achieve this objective, school districts may wish to designate an administrator who could assume the responsibility for these curricu- lum matters. The task force further recommends that a leading role in these efforts lee taken lay the professional societies. Programs should be developed at the national level for distribution through the media or for presentation lay local professional society members. And the societies should increase their preparation and distribution of engineering career guid- ance brochures to describe the responsibilities and activities of engi- neers who are members of that society. The American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) should consider assuming a major role in the development of curricular infor- mation for use in precollege schools. If this information is presented effectively in an engaging format, it may be sought lay precollege educa- tors and counselors. On a regional or local [oasis, engineering institu- tions could also assist in the delivery and explanation of the material. Finally, practicing engineers should make an effort to describe and define to local precollege educators the role of an engineer in the "real

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18 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS world." Such information transfer might be carried out most effec- tively during informal events like open houses. Currently, these events are usually held for students, but they are often less useful than they might be because they do not focus on any specific profession. Establishment of Pre-engineering Program Structure and Standards Increasing numbers of engineering students are choosing to begin their formal college education by spending the first two years of their undergraduate program at a local junior, community, or other college. Students cite several reasons for this choice: insufficient funds to attend an out-of-town engineering school for four years, lack of matu- rity or self-confidence when faced with the demands of a university environment, indecision about making the commitment to a career in engineering, or inability to gain admission directly to an engineering program because of deficient secondary school preparation or perfor- mance. Yet many students following this path ultimately wish to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering. To achieve this objective, the pre- engineering programs in which they are enrolled must prepare them in such a way that they will be accepted for transfer and can continue with the advanced phases of a full four-year engineering program. This need can be best served by those organizations that are currently responsible for and involved in engineering education on both local and national levels, as well as by state bodies that exist or could be created to coordinate and promote interinstitutional cooperation. Such organi- zations and the mechanisms that might be employed for these activi- ties include: Organizations LegisTatures/lay bodies Professional societies Engineering institution . . . . ac .mmlstratlons Program standards Industrial interaction Mechanisms University interaction Uniform transfer policies Model curricula Professional society guidelines If students choose to begin their educational career in a pre-engineer- ing program, their success in transferring to and pursuing the advanced portion of the curriculum at an engineering school will depend on how well they have been prepared to make this transition by the junior, community, or other college first attended. At present there appear lo be two major impediments to a successful transition. First, existing support organizations have paid little attention to this pool of students,

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THE ACADEMIC SECTOR 19 obviously considering them unimportant. As a result these organiza- tions have been relatively uninvolved in programs for these students. Second, those individuals responsible for structuring and offering pre- engineering programs are frequently unaware of the range of instruc- tion/curricula needed to prepare for more advanced studies. The task force believes that existing support organizations must take the lead in solving these problems. They must assume the responsibil- ity of generating and making available the information needed to improve the quality of pre-engineering programs. To accomplish this task, a new support organization similar to ABET may be required.J Also, the efforts of these organizations should include the development of new programs and the provision of whatever educational assistance may lie necessary to improve the level of preparation of students trans- ferring from such programs. In addition, the development of guide- lines, standards, and model curricula necessary to upgrade the quality of pre-engineering programs should address such factors as library, computational, and laboratory facilities; faculty qualifications; sup- port staff needs; counseling requirements; and required levels of perfor- mance. Another important aspect of such work should lie the development of statewide college transfer committees or boards to establish standards that provide uniform transfer capabilities from pre-engineering pro- grams to engineering schools. The task force does not suggest, how- ever, that engineering institutions should abandon their responsibility to evaluate the quality of transfer credit. Financial Resources for Engineering Students The financial needs of engineering students are but one part of the broader category of the financial needs of all college students. For engi- neering students, however, these needs are perhaps exacerbated by the rigor and duration of most engineering degree programs. These charac- teristics make "working one's way through college" while enrolled in an engineering curriculum relatively more difficult than in other fields. In general, engineering students derive financial support from one or more of the following: Organizations Their families Federal government Private foundations Industry Their employers State government Engineering institutions

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20 Summer/part-time jobs Programs Grants / contracts Fellowships and tuition loans S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS Mechanisms Co-op/internships Teaching/research Grants or scholarships Sponsored research As a goal, the task force suggests that candidates who are qualified to pursue an engineering education and who demonstrate financial need should not loe denied that education because of such a need. This concept is more widely accepted today at the graduate level than at the undergraduate level.) And professional engineering societies should actively promote the implementation of this concept among the appro- priate support organizations, although major financial contributions will lee required also from government, industry, and private agencies. Additional support from the federal government could come in the form of tax relief to full-time engineering students for that share of their income derived from co-op employment, internships, assistantships, etc. Improved Engineering Curricula At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the utility and value of engineering degree recipients, and their potential for successful prac- tice and contribution to the profession, are strongly dependent on the quality of their formal education. Unfortunately, as engineering enroll- ments have increased nationwide, excessive loads have been placed on underfunded program efforts. * As a result, the quality of engineering education has deteriorated. Because of the importance of engineering to the nation's economic well-being and stability, the growing interest in engineering as a career choice, and the increasing quality of the students seeking admission to engineering institutions, it is impera- tive that this trend be reversed. A wide range of support organizations operating through a multitude of mechanisms influences the educational curricula of engineering stu- dents. Illustrative of some of the more important are the following: * See Engineering Education and Practice in the United States: Foundations of Our Techno-Economic Future (Washington' D.C.: National Academy Press, 1985~.

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THE ACADEMIC SECTOR Legislatures/lay boards Faculty Industry ABET Program funding Curriculum development Cooperative interactions Accreditation standards 21 Organizations Mechanisms Administration Government Professional societies Resource allocation Research and student support Technical meetings and periodicals The importance of the highest-quality curricula is not in dispute. The real issue is how to bring together the efforts of the appropriate support organizations to make the goal a reality. As a first step, each organization must reevaluate both its specific role in the total process and its relationship to all the other support organizations. Coupled with this should be an establishment of priorities for engineering edu- cation as it relates to the other responsibilities of the organization. Two key factors must be recognized by the funding organizations: t 1 ) first-rate engineering education is expensive; and ~2J existing labora- tory and computational facilities, faculty and support staff, salaries and benefits, operating funds, research and project support, and mainte- nance budgets are in most cases inadequate; yet they are essential to a high quality engineering curriculum. Of equal importance is the responsibility of those directly involved in the delivery of the program to ensure professional competence and state-of-the-art curricula. Particular emphasis must be placed on the ever-expanding data base with which students must interact as the computer becomes an inseparable part of the engineering work envi- ronment. And special attention must be directed to the introduction, in both the classroom and the laboratory, of the latest technologies in theory, application, and practice. Also significant are the contributions to be made by those organiza- tions, such as industry and the professional/technical societies, that have indirect contact with the educational process. The efforts of these organizations are vital and may include such activities as evaluating the product The graduate), reporting on the latest developments and applications of new technologies, and identifying trends that may influence curricula orientation. For the most part, these roles appear to be reasonably well recog

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22 SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS nized. If fundamental engineering curricula needs are to be met, how- ever, it is essential that the participating support organizations work more closely and cooperatively with one another. Improved Financial Compensation Packages for Engineering Faculty Engineering faculty must be provided with a compensation package that is commensurate with their particular talents, education, and experience, based on the current market value for engineers. Inappro- priate compensation should never be the sole reason that qualified engineering faculty decline a teaching position or leave an institution. Fortunately, more and more colleges and universities are finally recog- nizing the necessity for increasing the compensation of engineering faculty to those levels found on the open market; but some remain unable to do so, however, because of such factors as economics, poli- tics, and negotiated contracts. These institutions find it increasingly difficult to attract the quality of engineering faculty required to ensure first-rate programs. It is the opinion of the task force that this situation will become increasingly critical. With the rapid technological advancements that are occurring in many areas of the economy, industry must look for more highly qualified engineers. As a result, industry leaders may turn more to colleges of engineering to recruit faculty who can provide the expertise required in some of the more advanced areas of engineering. The following support organizations and mechanisms are available: Organizations State legislatures/lay boards Federal government University and college administrations Industry Professional societies Mechanisms Higher education appropriations Grants and subsidies Adequate resource allocation Faculty involvement These support organizations must recognize the negative long-term impact on the quality of engineering faculty of compensation that is not commensurate with market rates. Engineering faculty should be given the same consideration as that given to the medical, dental, and law faculties in the development of compensation packages. Formulas for funding and resource allocation decisions within the educational insti- tutions must be based on this premise. The role of the professional

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THE ACADEMIC SECTOR 23 societies may be the key in this politically oriented issue in effecting changes outside of the institution. Provision of Adequate Support Resources for Faculty Faculty instructional needs that must lee met if optimal engineering education is to lie achieved include reasonable and adequate teaching loads/class sizes; facilities {classroom, laboratory, and computa- tional); library; assistants Laboratory, computational, and teaching); and technicians {laboratory and computational). The presence or absence of these elements plays a major role in the recruitment and retention of top-flight faculty, to whom the working environment is typically as important as financial security. Support organizations and mechanisms that operate in this area include those listed below: Organizations Legislatures Industry Professional societies/ABET Lay boards and university . . . . ac .mmlstratlons Federal government Mechanisms Higher education appropriations Gifts, endowments, and grants Equipment, grants, and subsidies Resource allocation and faculty involvement Minimum standards The support organizations responsible for resources currently are not providing adequate funds to support high-quality engineering instruc- tion. This is evident in the declining number of engineering programs receiving the maximum accreditation lay ABET. Fortunately, the sever- ity and significance of this need have leveed recognized, and certain industrial and federal government mechanisms are being implemented or increased. But all support organizations must lie committed to a policy of promoting strong engineering education, and such a commit- ment requires a concerted effort in both the political and academic arenas. Only then will the necessary increased resources lie available to accomplish the goal of high-quality engineering education. {A possible short-term solution may be to increase engineering tuition/fees alcove those of other professional colleges, thereby providing higher support for engineering education. ~ Support resources can lie sought also in other sectors. Many indus- tries are involved in major training programs for their technical employees, and they have spent millions of dollars for state-of-the-art

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24 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS laboratories or training facilities. These facilities could be used to great benefit by local engineering institutions. Alternatively, with appropri- ate support from engineering institutions such laboratories or training centers could be set up on campus for joint use by the engineering college and the contributing industry. Research Support for Faculty Research support for engineering faculty must include modern facili- ties Laboratory and computational); assistants {laboratory, computa- tional, and research); technicians {laboratory and computational; and provisions for post-doctorates/visiting professors. Without this level of support, meaningful basic and applied research cannot be conducted. Moreover, as with salary and instructional needs, research-oriented faculty can find this support in government and industry and may choose to seek employment in these sectors rather than in teaching The following are sources of research support for engineering faculty: Organizations Legislatures Industry Professional societies A. . pproprlatlons Gifts and research grants Fellowships Equipment and subsidies Lay boards and administrations Federal and state governments Mechanisms Research grants, facility and personnel budgets; faculty involvement Political and moral assistance Certain federal agencies are recognizing the need to implement or expand some of these mechanisms. In general, however, support of university research by federal and state governments and by industry, when compared to both the gross national product and the consumer price index, has declined in recent years. Similarly, institutional sup- port has been less than adequate. To ameliorate this situation, support organizations must work toward recognition of the negative long-term effects of limited research activities by the engineering educational institutions. Each organiza- tion {governmental bodies, professional societies, institutions, and industry must assume a leadership role in expanding and increasing the interest and level of effort necessary to support adequate engineer- ing research.

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THE ACADEMIC SECTOR 25 Faculty Development and Recognition For maximum professional productivity, engineering faculty must lie assured of support for continued technical competence, professional development, recognition, advancement, and stability. [In particular, a lack of sufficient funds to maintain professional competence is viewed as a major engineering institution weakness.) If these needs are not met, the result will be outdated, unproductive, insecure faculty who cannot provide the solid core of engineering expertise required for a vigorous engineering educational program. These organizations/mechanisms are sources of the necessary sup- port: University administrations Professional societies Awards Consistent promotion and tenure Technical meetings and short courses Scholar/scientist awards National Academy of Engineering Organizations Mechanisms Industry Federal government Chairs Long-range planning Policies Sabbaticals and consultantships Grants Travel The task force recommends that funds provided lay support organiza- tions for these existing mechanisms lie expanded. To help achieve this goal, the professional societies can play an important role loy informing those organizations responsible for resource allocations of the impor- tance and benefit of professional development for engineering faculty. Administrative Support for Engineering Institutions The need for administrative support for engineering institutions has been presented dramatically in an article entitled "The Crisis, " * which deals with engineering education. The piece documents a critical shortage of both faculty and laboratory equipment. This crisis has * "The Crisis, " Engineering Edification (November 1982~ .

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26 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS occurred even while the nation is engaged in intense economic and military competition in areas related to the technical products of engi- neering. With an expanded, more sophisticated engineering educa- tional process, critical needs have developed in the area of institutional operations, particularly from administrative and organizational stand- points. And these needs have been exacerbated lay the increased level of reporting required lay both governmental and nongovernmental agen cles. Administrative support organizations and mechanisms for engineer- ing institutions include the following: Organizations Legistatures/lay boards University administrations ABET Professional societies Mechanisms Allocation of nonhuman resources Institutional studies/statistical information Institutional budgets Allocation of professional and staff positions It is incumbent upon the support organizations to recognize and promote effective administrative support for engineering institutions. This can lie accomplished at a number of levels, both internal and external to the institutions. One approach may lee to organize engineer- ing colleges as professional schools of engineering, similar to medical, dental, and law schools. {This concept was proposed several years ago by the National Society of Professional Engineers lint did not receive widespread endorsement lay engineering deans. The reason for their lack of interest was not clearly stated, but it appeared to be related to the lack of adequate resources for existing programs, let alone expanded ones. J Long-Range Planning for Engineering Institutions As in any complex organization, engineering colleges, and the uni- versities of which they are components, must conduct long-range plan- ning. They must strive to define missions and purposes, forecast future demands and expected performance, assess the resources required to accomplish their missions and purposes over that planning period, and set about to provide and properly use the resources available. There is currently a significant lack of long-range planning lay engi- neering educational institutions, even though such planning is al~so- lutely essential if changing technology is to lie adequately addressed in

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THE ACADEMIC SECTOR 27 a timely fashion. For the most part, universities are unable to respond to these changes quickly enough to adjust their curricula, facilities, or faculty needs. The result is inadequately prepared students. Meanwhile, industry is currently spending millions of dollars on training programs designed to close the technological gap between the United States and its foreign competitors. Participating in these train- ing programs are engineering graduates who are being brought "up to speed" in technical areas. The cost of this training adds to the cost of the product, thus making that industry less competitive in the market- place. The task force believes that these costs could lie reduced if engi- neering institutions can anticipate more effectively the technical needs of their graduates entering the labor force. For the purposes of this report, the term "long range" implies 5 to 10 years. Although planning should be continuous, the formalized plan for each institution should loe published no less than every 2 years, so that faculty, administration at all levels, and other support organizations can lee apprised of the institution's stated goals and can work together to achieve them. The support organizations and mechanisms available to implement this process: Organizations State boards/regents College administrations Faculty ~ . . . . . . . university admmlstratlons Advisory committees Mechanisms College staff Industry interaction Formalized planning documents Government interaction Most major corporations have full-time departments devoted to cor- porate strategy planning. Their mission is to ensure that the company's products will lie manufactured in a manner that is the most cost effec- tive, that produces goods of the highest quality possible, and that meets the competitive demands of the marketplace. Engineering institutions must address similar needs, because many of the same factors that govern industry will affect the requirements of engineering education. Consequently, it is essential that administrations and faculties recog- nize the importance of strategic planning to ensure that the quality of their product {degree recipients) meets the requirements of the labor market. To fill this role the task force suggests that a strategic planning sec- tion lie established within the engineering colleges of the universities. Staffing requirements would loe minimal as most of the necessary infor- mation will be available through the university data base, as well as through interaction with industry, government, and other employers.