The Department’s curricular areas are listed in Table 3, Faculty Coverage of Curricular Areas. The faculty associated with courses taught in these areas are also listed. In general, the areas represent research specialties, although there are specific research areas not represented in the undergraduate curriculum (e.g. Intelligent Systems). Faculty resumes included in Appendix IC demonstrate expertise to teach courses in these areas. Given an enrollment of approximately 179 undergraduates (September, 1998) , the student faculty ratio is 14.9=179/12.
Each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon being admitted to the program. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor to review progress, discuss problems or for advice. Students must meet with their advisors each semester at pre-registration time. At this time the student’s progress is reviewed by the advisor and student.
We have found, however, that in order to improve retention, first year students require special attention. An element of ECE 101, Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering, is intended to help students be successful in making the transition from high school to college. Faculty are very involved in ECE101. During the labs, two to three faculty or instructional associates are present to help students. A great deal of individualized attention is given in this class.
Most faculty do not post office hours because, in general, faculty doors are always open, and students are invited in any time the faculty member is not obviously busy helping someone else. We are proud of the accessibility to faculty we grant our students and often note it as one of our defining characteristics.
During the three-semester capstone design experience, students are assigned a faculty mentor for the specific project in addition to the normal instructor for these classes.
In addition, we have a 15-20 year tradition of hosting an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates site. Recognizing that our own undergraduates are our best source of graduate students, undergrads are extensively involved in faculty research.
The Department employs over thirty undergraduate students to work with faculty in some capacity. The majority of these assignments are to assist in industry or federally-funded research projects.
Each year, the annual report documents faculty professional service activities, development, and interaction with practitioners and employers. The annual report is prepared in July for the previous fiscal year (7/1 to 6/30).
In October of 1999, as part of our annual five-year planning process, conversations were held with all faculty regarding our needs over the next five years. Out of those conversations came the anticipated faculty needs shown in Table 4, based on our five year objectives and current expertise. One innovative step we have taken is to re-classify our current system administrators as half-time lecturers. This move has allowed us to lan to offer timely courses in networking and operating systems, involve our sysadmins in research, eliminate the more routine aspects of system administration, and allow us to award salary increases sufficient to prevent them from leaving. To augment the Department’s system administration capability, we will initiate a corps of students interested in working as system administrators. The faculty will consider an arrangement allowing these students to earn coop credit for their work.