Dear Alumni and Friends,

November 2010 By

I'd like to tell you about who we are and what we do. The Engineering Advisory Board consists of 25 elected members and three dean's appointees, most of whom are Ole Miss engineering alumni. Our purpose is to advise and provide support to Dean Cheng and his staff on a variety of issues. Our members range from industry experts and corporate vice presidents to recent graduates. The tie among all of us is an understanding that high quality engineering graduates are needed as leaders in industry, government and academia.

The board meets for two days every spring and fall. Topics for the meeting include student affairs, industry and government relations, and alumni affairs. Board members meet with groups of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty across the multiple engineering disciplines. Also, board members meet with individual departments to review items such as ABET accreditation, lab improvements, curricula and undergraduate recruiting efforts.

This meeting, we had the opportunity to hear from UM Provost Morris Stocks and Associate Provost Noel Wilkin. Stocks spoke of the surge in undergraduate enrollment this fall semester, which stands at a 24.8 percent increase over fall 2009. This led to many discussions and recommendations concerning this magnitude of growth and how to sustain such gains while maintaining the close student-to-faculty relationships from which our students benefit. Wilkin spoke about the Engineering Vision Council that met for the first time in early September. The Engineering Vision Council was developed to answer the question, "What does it mean to be an Ole Miss engineer in the 21st century?" The Engineering Advisory Board is looking forward to working with the Vision Council.

Lastly, I would like to speak about the changes in the school in which the board was instrumental in driving. Some issues, such as increasing hours for computer lab access for undergrads, may seem trivial but make a significant impact on our students' ability to learn. Other important issues include planning and fundraising support for many of the renovations underway, including Old Chemistry and Carrier Hall, and the expansion of the Bachelor of Engineering degree to include emphasis areas such as pre-med, public policy and ROTC.

Ole Miss Engineering is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. You will be seeing more information about this soon. I hope you are as excited about the School of Engineering and the direction it is heading as I am. If you have not been on campus to meet Dean Cheng or his staff members recently, you should come back to campus this fall to enjoy a football game or visit in the spring for the annual Excellence in Engineering banquet.

If you are interested in more information or in serving on the Engineering Advisory Board, you can contact me at stephenedge@olemissalumni.com or Joshua E. Waggoner, School of Engineering director of development, at waggoner@olemiss.edu.

Sincerely,
Stephen V. Edge, Chair
Engineering Advisory Board
BSEE 2000