DR. ERIC SHEPPARD: I echo my colleagues. I like to tell [Hampton University]
students that if they leave with the same technical skills they get at other schools
that’s not enough. There’s a historical background. Our students saw how ex-slaves
built these universities up as a community when we had nothing and were working
against obstacles. I think that gives them the perspective to see how they can build
themselves up despite obstacles.
DR JAMES H. JOHNSON, Jr.: Our campuses are reflective of different things. [How-
ard University] is in an urban environment, so we look at urban problems. What we
bring in general is the ability to not just go for the dollar, but to make a difference
Dr. Legand L. Burge Jr.
for all those around us.
Dean, College of
Engineering, Architecture and
WB: How has the economic downturn impacted engineering education at histori-
cally black colleges?
DR.CHING-JEN CHEN: Every semester, I talk to the [Florida A&M University/Florida
State University] freshmen pre-engineering group. Sometimes they wonder if this is
the right choice. They’re in good shape whatever the field that they choose.
DR. MARK G. HARDY: This downturn has had a significant impact on budgets. But
at Jackson State we are able to bring in external grants and contracts. And with those
dollars, we’re able to provide the resources and educational opportunities. But one
thing that we are really looking at is to make sure our students are globally competi-
tive. We are trying to instill those capabilities.
HBCU Deans Roundtable:
DR. JOSEPH MONROE: What we see at NC A&T is many of our students have
Dr. Eric Sheppard
recognized that there are a lot of jobs with the government and with firms [that] have
Dean, School of Engineering and
international interests. [Students] are starting to migrate toward those companies,
Producing Talent in an
and are very happy to work in the government as civilians.
DR. LONNIE SHARPE: What we have been doing at Tennessee State is making
sure that we don’t cut any engineering programs. To do that we have had to do
Era of Change
something we haven’t done before: Charge an engineering fee to all of our students.
The good thing about the stimulus is that there are resources to support students on
financial aid. Eighty-five percent of our students are on financial aid. So for us to sur-
vive, we have had to increase our tuition. I do believe that once this is over Tennessee
State will be a stronger institution, because we will be much leaner.
DR SANDRA J. DELOATCH: The budget shortfall has hurt [Norfolk State University]
tremendously. We have tried to not cut programs that impact global competitiveness,
especially in STEM. We are working aggressively to recruit students.
Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr.
DR PATRICK E. CARRIERE: At Southern University, we have [had] budget cuts.
Dean, College of Engineering,
Architecture & Computer Science
But we have a relationship with the US Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, who
helped increase civil engineering enrollment. Louisiana will get $4 billion in infrastruc-
ture improvement, so that’s great for our program.
DR. PAMELA LEIGH-MACK: Last fall we [Virginia State] had our largest enrollment
for some time. The university also understands we shouldn’t cut STEM areas, particu-
larly engineering and engineering technology.
BURGE: We are considering environmental, biomedical, bio engineering, bio
chemical, and bio physics — pushing our graduate program into systems engineering.
We are looking at budgets and programs and combining things. Also a lot of [Tuske-
gee] students are getting rescinded offers [from employers]. And this has happened in
the last six months. They are actually rethinking going to graduate school. We had a
meeting with other engineering deans in the state about collaborative research inter-
ests. That’s going to be very helpful for our students.
Dr. Ching-Jen Chen
Dean, School of Engineering
USBE & Information Technology I DEANS Edition 2009 23
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