Campus: CSU Fresno -- February 11, 2005

Fresno State to Retain, Revitalize College of Engineering

The important and growing role for the study of engineering in Central California has prompted leaders at California State University, Fresno to set in place a process to retain and revitalize its College of Engineering.

"The university will work to ensure that Fresno State's engineering instruction reflects the true need for advanced engineering studies in the region," said Jeri Echeverria, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Fresno State's plan for the engineering college focuses on broadening the college's scholarly work, developing stronger relationships with regional engineering firms, increasing fund raising and grant activity, and recruiting students more aggressively.

Echeverria and the faculty are planning to adjust the organizational structure of the College of Engineering. The college will now be composed of two new departments: the Civil and Geomatics Engineering and Construction Department and the Electrical, Computer and Mechanical Engineering Department.

As part of the plan, Echeverria announced the appointment of a new interim dean for the College of Engineering. Dr. Andrew Hoff will serve as the interim dean through spring 2007.

Echeverria said Hoff's experience as a successful administrator on campus will assist him in leading the college during this period of revitalization and in preparing for the recruitment of a permanent dean in the future.

Hoff has a long history of accomplishments as a professor on the Fresno State faculty, and most recently has served as associate dean in the College of Health and Human Services. In that role, he oversees several areas in the college including faculty and staff personnel, facilities, technology, student affairs, curriculum, research, and community outreach.

Echeverria said the College of Engineering needed to take a fresh look at its curriculum and its interrelationships with engineering and construction firms in Central California.

The university is recognized as one of the best universities in the U.S. for its involvement in regional issues. Last June the American Association of State Colleges and Universities selected Fresno State as one of four universities in the country as a model for regional cooperation and leadership.

"Fresno State must keep our engineering coursework relevant and up to date," Echeverria said. "Our industry partners and regional experts have been very helpful in assisting us in the development of our revitalization plan."

A new advisory council to the interim dean is being established, composed of leading engineers, community leaders and construction managers from academia and industry, to provide guidance to the College of Engineering. Among the new members of that group are Harry Moore, president of Twining Laboratories Inc. of Fresno; Dr. Donald Kirk, retired dean of the San Jose State College of Engineering; Stephen Becker of Mechanical Design Concepts of Fresno and Glen Waehner, senior vice president of Pelco in Clovis.

Fresno State's engineering program boasts many successful alumni, including former NASA astronaut Steven R. Nagel, Space Shuttle Columbia Commander, the late Rick Husband, and retired Rockwell International CEO Sam Iacobellis, who led development of the B1 bomber.

The Fresno State engineering program is the only publicly supported engineering college in the San Joaquin Valley.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster, (559) 278-5292 or (559) 593-1815

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