Dear Faculty Colleagues, Students, Staff, Alumni and Friends of the College of Engineering,
I am writing you as the new Dean of the FAMU – FSU joint College of Engineering. Although I have had the pleasure of greeting some of you, I look forward to meeting many more of you very soon.
Thanks to your efforts, our joint College has achieved a great deal over its almost 35 year history. I firmly believe that we are entering a new phase where there is great opportunity and by working together we will advance the college.
As part of the State University System of Florida, we are situated within the third largest state of the nation. While one out of fifteen of the US population resides within our state, there is not yet a single engineering college in Florida ranked in the top 40. There is tremendous room for growth.
As the only integrated partnership between a highly research intensive university and an Historically Black College and University (HBCU), it is our time to grow. I believe we are at that moment in our history when the actions we take will make a difference. Engineering solves social problems and offers great economic opportunity. Research and education must both flourish in a top engineering school. Within our disciplines, there is a national imperative to improve the underrepresentation of minorities and women.
In order to position ourselves to grow, I want us to formulate a strategic plan for the College. Let’s ask, and answer, questions like:
- What will an expanded and energized College look like in 5 or 10 years?
- What will be the handful of areas where we will lead nationally in research? How will these couple together to sustain a broad yet deep engineering curriculum?
- How will we innovate engineering education and how will we bring that education to a diverse cadre of students?
- How will we ensure the success of our students and offer them great career opportunities?
- How can we partner with industry? With alumni? With our community?
- Where can we build interdisciplinary-collaborations for research and education?
- How will we brand our College?
We will develop this plan not through a top-down process but by brainstorming ideas. Research today is highly interdisciplinary. While many ideas will originate within the College we will encourage involvement of other colleges at FAMU and FSU, and seek external partners.
My role, together with the department chairs, will be to select from these ideas the flagship themes that will be the centerpiece of our plan for focused investment. These selections will influence our choices for faculty recruitment and program development, and will provide the story with which we engage others around the nation to support our vision.
We must develop our strategic plan within the coming academic year. I will be communicating with you as the summer ends so that we begin the planning process aggressively in the fall. Please feel free to share with me and my department chairs your ideas about the process to engage stakeholders as effectively as possible.