June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
New Engineering Educators
12.1153.1 - 12.1153.8
Perspectives from New Faculty in a Non-traditional Engineering Setting Abstract
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is the newest public university in Florida. Established in 1997, FGCU attracts thousands of new freshmen each year because of its commitment to academic excellence and an interdisciplinary focus on curriculum combined with a growing, younger regional population. The most unusual characteristic of FGCU, compared to other University systems, is its implementation of a 3-year renewable term contract rather than the traditional tenure system. Despite this non-traditional approach, which has been in place since FGCU was started, there have been and continue to be many exceptional applicants to the new U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering (WSOE). The WSOE, which first admitted students last year, has debuted with three majors leading towards the Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Engineering. Given the unusual characteristics of FGCU (new public university, new engineering program, and non-tenure system), a young faculty member starting his or her career is indeed in an unorthodox situation. That is exactly the case for the authors of this paper, who represent all three fields. One of the authors held a non tenure-track assistant professor position at a different university for the last two years, while the other two held post doc positions in their respective fields. Managing the responsibilities and challenges of our new positions has afforded us lessons that indeed amount to our own innovations in career planning. Cognizant and respectful of the forward-thinking mission and vision of FGCU and the WSOE, the authors will share the methods and strategies used to maintain the balance of scholarship, research, teaching, and service in this non-traditional university setting. Guidelines and recommendations for young engineering faculty are also provided.
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) was established by the Florida Legislature as the tenth public university within the state of Florida system in January 1991, and classes began in August 19971. The university is dedicated to highest quality education that prepares the student for success in life and work. The student population has already reached over 8,000 students, and has continued to grow at an impressive rate with expected enrollment of approximately 12,000 by 2010. This increase is explained not only by the fact that Southwest Florida is among the fastest growing populations in the country but more importantly because the university is committed to excellence in education and is attracting increased student interest.
FGCU has a unique system. Instead of the conventional tenure track system, a 3-year renewable term contract was instituted. The U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering (WSOE) commenced in 2004 with majors leading towards the Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Engineering. In 2006 three young faculty (one in each of the departments listed above and who are also the authors of this paper) accepted faculty positions at this flourishing university. Two of the faculty members graduated with their terminal degree
Villiers, C., & Bondehagen, D., & Geiger, C. (2007, June), Perspectives From New Faculty In A Non Traditional Engineering Setting Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1805
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