Academics & Research Administration News

UH will merge engineering, technology colleges

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

The Cullen College of Engineering and College of Technology will merge into a single academic program starting March 1 as part of the University’s ongoing mission to be a top 50 public university. 

The UH System Board of Regents approved this proposal on Feb. 23 to align with its goal of enhancing student and faculty benefits such as leveraging resources and providing a “wide array” of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 

“Most of the top 50 research universities offer their engineering and technology programs under one umbrella,” President Renu Khator said in an email to members of both colleges. “During the Planning Phase, which lasted 12 months, several surveys, town halls, forums, committees and subcommittees had been held and formed in order to prepare a plan that benefits students and enhances faculty’s capacity to offer cutting-edge programs and conduct impactful research.”

The University’s FAQ about the merge says the anticipated outcome of the transition includes adopting new college bylaws in September this year, introducing a college organizational chart and developing a new tenure guideline among other additional changes. 

The merged school will be named the Cullen College of Engineering as the College of Technology will live within it and will house the same departments for both. Khator states that it will serve 11,000 students and emphasizes being the third-largest engineering/technology college in the state. 

The FAQ also discusses how they deem the transition to benefit students and faculty. It states better access to career resources, practical views of the study and providing more opportunities for competitive research. The University suggests that the College of Engineering will have new opportunities to gain federal and state support funding for substantial research that focuses on “cyber-physical infrastructure and manufacturing and energy”. They also emphasize working alongside health programs across campus.

According to Khator’s email, students who are currently enrolled at the College of Technology and graduating in May 2023, will receive their degree under the College of Technology. Students graduating at a later date will receive their degree under the merged Cullen College of Engineering. 

Students entering engineering or technology programs in the summer of 2023 and beyond will enter under the new name Cullen College of Engineering and will receive their degree under the same name, irrespective of whether they are in an engineering or technology program,” Khator said.

Khator stated that the transitional phase will last for two years and during this time the two colleges will work out their internal operations.

“Having both colleges separate in the past has provided an opportunity to contain more programs that other schools are not able to,” said electrical engineering senior Emmanuel Oyebode. “However, I do believe there are more pros than cons with this merge as it presents a bigger pool of opportunities. There is a chance for more collaboration between professors and students and a possibility of more funding to projects too. I see it as a joining of resources where if used right, can only mean growth. ”

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