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(Re)Designing The College Of Engineering At The University Of Wisconsin Madison For 2010 And Beyond

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Questions of Identity

Tagged Division

Liberal Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.2.1 - 11.2.10



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Paper Authors

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Mike Graham University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Amy Wendt University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Paul Peercy University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Patrick Farrell University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Jay Martin University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Sarah Pfatteicher University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Jeffrey Russell University of Wisconsin-Madison

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

(Re) Designing the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 2010 and Beyond


Life in engineering colleges and schools will be different in 2010 and beyond. While we have been responsive to, and the subject of, events and forces requiring change in the past, it appears that now a variety of factors will truly change the way that engineering education is carried in the United States in the future (cf. The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century and Retooling.) The key questions for us then become “How will the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Engineering (COE) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison respond to current challenges such as changes in demographics, scarce resources and globalization?” and “Will the college make the optimum use of the available people, skills, and resources to not only meet these challenges, but at the same time, become an even more exciting and welcoming place to work and learn? Will the COE become an environment where not just students, but faculty and staff also are inspired to keep learning? Or alternatively, will the people in the college be subject to events apparently outside of their own control?”

Our taskforce has been engaged in both thought and action on how to assist the UW-Madison COE in meeting these challenges, AND, as importantly, in improving as a university-based engineering community. Our approach to (re)design of the COE for 2010 and beyond is and has been centered on two realities: First, while the administration of the college sees many forces on the horizon that will affect the activities of everyone in the college, individuals in the college may not be convinced or aware of the urgency or need for response. Second, without everyone’s participation and contribution, no change to the institution, particularly of the magnitude required, will be successful.

The purpose of this paper is to share what we have learned to date and our plan to move forward from here. For example, the initial college-wide forum illustrated that the faculty and staff were very concerned about the future of the college and the possible changes that would occur. At the same time, however, they did not articulate how they perceived that the college would actually change. In response, we are providing opportunities for study and discussion of the forces driving change, assuming that this will move the conversation to ideas that are helpful when thinking about how to redesign the college.


Impending changes are presenting engineering schools across the country and around the globe with new challenges. Our task force at the UW-Madison COE has been engaged in efforts to assist the college in meeting these challenges. Some of these challenges are specific to the UW- Madison College of Engineering. Many of them, however, are universal. Our hope is that in discussing the path(s) that we are following, we can broaden the conversation beyond a single campus. We do not want to mislead anyone: we do not claim to have the answers, and we certainly have many unanswered questions, however, we believe that a national dialogue is required if engineering education is to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Graham, M., & Wendt, A., & Peercy, P., & Farrell, P., & Martin, J., & Pfatteicher, S., & Russell, J. (2006, June), (Re)Designing The College Of Engineering At The University Of Wisconsin Madison For 2010 And Beyond Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1255

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