Less than one year removed from garnering approval by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents to offer degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering at Georgia Southern University, school staff announced Friday a major shake-up to the college’s internal structure.
President Brooks Keel and university staff announced in a morning press conference at the university’s Performing Arts Center the formation of the new Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology (CEIT).
The new college will combine high-demand degree programs in engineering and computer sciences to better meet educational and training needs of the state and region, according to Keel.
“This has been a change in the making for more than 30 years,” Keel said. “To be able to merge these to two programs into one — to allow those disciplines to come together in very important and collaborative ways — is truly, truly unique; unique not only in this part of the state, but in the country.”
“To think what that will mean for the educational and training opportunities for the students that will be enrolling in these programs is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
The new Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology will supplant the former Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology (COST) — which is being renamed — and includes seven degree programs (civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science, information technology, and masters programs in applied engineering and computer science).
“Georgia Southern’s strategic vision is to be recognized as one of the best doctoral research universities in the country – and that is an ambitious vision,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ted Moore. “In order to do that, we have to excel in all three aspects of our mission. The announcements today are very important components of that strategy.”
“The alignment that results in combining engineering and information technology means several strong academic departments will reside in our new College of Engineering and Information Technology,” Moore said, at the announcement ceremony. “That spells synergy ladies and gentleman. The total will well exceed the sum of the separate parts.”
By combining the two programs, Georgia Southern’s engineering students will have access to a state-of-the-art education, according to Keel.
“This will provide our students an opportunity to receive a unique education by blending these programs,” he said. “Digital is the way things are going to go and I think we all know that. This gives our students a great chance and to be uniquely trained and more competitive after college.”
In forming the new college, the university will change the name of the former Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology to the College of Science and Mathematics (COSM). The college will house Georgia Southern’s biology, chemistry, geology/geography, military science, physics, pre-medical/pre-dental and mathematical sciences degree programs.
Dr. Mohammad Davoud has been named the Interim Dean of the new CEIT.
“This is truly exciting time for us. The College of Engineering and Information Technology will be a nationally recognized leader in the area of student-centric, application-based teaching a research,” Davoud said. “This college will foster learning, and technologically and economically enrich our community.”
Approximately 2,078 students are currently a part of the new College of Engineering and Information Technology, which employees 38 full-time faculty.
About 1,985 students are registered for programs in the College of Science and Mathematic, which employees 158 full-time faculty.
Changes to the colleges are effective immediately.
Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.