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Creating An Entrepreneurial Culture At A Startup Engineering Program

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

The Best of Interdisciplinary Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.351.1 - 9.351.13



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Paper Authors

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kenneth weaver

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number 1654

Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture at a Startup Engineering Program Anthony J. Marchese , John L. Schmalzel and K. Mark Weaver+, Rowan University 201 Mullica Hill Rd. Glassboro, NJ 08028

Abstract - In 1992, the College of Engineering at Rowan University was created as the direct result of a $100 million gift from entrepreneur Henry M. Rowan. Mr. Rowan’s requirements were that the gift be used to create a high-quality, public undergraduate engineering institution and to impact the economic development of southern New Jersey, a region that has historically lagged behind northern New Jersey. Having started with a clean curriculum slate during a period of national change in engineering curricula in response to ABET 2000, we had the opportunity to infuse an entrepreneurial culture into our engineering program from its inception. Specifically, we have developed a variety of policies/programs including creating an 8-semester engineering clinic sequence, creating an undergraduate venture capital fund and developing the Technology Entrepreneurship Concentration. This paper will describe the impact of these and other related initiatives that have helped create an entrepreneurial culture in our undergraduate students. It should be noted that many of these initiatives do not require a new program or major curriculum reform. Rather, our results suggest that it is possible to start with some small initiatives and build upon each initiative as the momentum for entrepreneurship develops.


In 1992, the local industrialist Henry M. Rowan made a $100 million donation to the then Glassboro State College with the ambitious goal of establishing a high-quality engineering school in southern New Jersey. To achieve this goal, the university appointed a National Advisory Council in 1993 chaired by Simon Ostrach of Case Western Reserve University and including prominent leaders in engineering academia such as the late C.L. Tien of University of California, Berkeley and deans of engineering at M.I.T, University of Colorado, Illinois, Cornell and Texas1. The advisory council helped to create a blueprint for the university to design a bold and innovative engineering curriculum and to infuse entrepreneurship into every level of the curriculum.

From 1994 through 2001, beginning with the recruiting of founding Dean James Tracey, a diverse 32-member faculty was recruited from top Figure 1. A view from the atrium at Henry M. Rowan Hall. The $28 million, 95,000 SF facility engineering programs such as Stanford, Princeton, was completed in Jan. 1998. Cornell, M.I.T., Michigan, Texas, and Penn State.

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering ( Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering + Rohrer Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies, College of Business

weaver, K. (2004, June), Creating An Entrepreneurial Culture At A Startup Engineering Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13406

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