Missouri University of Science and Technology will close its interdisciplinary engineering department at the end of this semester because the department has not met enrollment projections, Missouri S&T Provost Warren K. Wray announced today (Friday, Jan. 30, 2009).
When established in 2004, the IDE department was projected to enroll 115 full-time students by the fall 2008 semester. But only 25 full-time students were enrolled in the department last fall, and only 13 first-year students had declared their intent to major in the discipline.
Wray announced the closure in meetings with department faculty, staff and students this afternoon (Friday, Jan. 30, 2009). He also announced the decision in a letter to Dr. Douglas R. Carroll, president of the Missouri S&T Faculty Senate.
No faculty or staff positions will be eliminated as a result of the closure, and students who have completed certain prerequisite courses may continue to pursue the IDE degree if they wish.
IDE faculty and staff will be reassigned to one of two other engineering departments – either the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department or the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, Wray says. All IDE “service” courses required for other majors will be taught in one of those departments.
In addition, Dr. William Schonberg, chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, will serve as interim chair of IDE for the remainder of the semester, effective immediately. He replaces Dr. Bonnie Bachman, who has served as IDE chair since December 2007.
All IDE majors eligible to register for IDE 214 (Systems Modeling/Prototyping) next fall may continue to pursue the IDE degree but also must register for the remaining IDE design courses in sequence.
The IDE major was established in 2004 and the university’s first IDE graduates received their degrees in December 2007. The department currently has 10 faculty members, including three with tenure and three tenure-track faculty, two full-time staff members, and several graduate teaching assistants and part-time, adjunct faculty. The department also has three vacant faculty positions.
Missouri S&T offers 15 other engineering degree programs at the bachelor’s level and had a fall 2008 enrollment of 6,371.