Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blogging to save your program 

In light of Tulane's decision to close many departments to get through the university's financial crisis after Hurricane Katrina, engineering students have created a blog to call attention to their loss and to attract pledges of alumni donations in return for restoration of the engineering programs. Ingenious! I wonder how the administration will respond?

The blog calls our attention to this new article on the rebuilding of Tulane.
Within 24 hours of the trustees' vote, the students had set up a nonprofit organization with a Web site,, in hopes of persuading Cowen to reconsider. With all the revelations about engineering problems with New Orleans levees that led to the flooding of much of the city, this fledgling group contends that New Orleans needs all the engineers it can get.

"Many of the engineering companies in New Orleans have relied heavily on Tulane graduates," said Will Clarkson, a junior computer-engineering major who has spent this semester at Boston University.

"If you eliminate the program from which they get their future employees, what commitment do they have to stay in New Orleans, which has already been ravaged?" he said. "In the next decade, engineering should be the mainstay of New Orleans, not the bastard stepchild."
Unfortunately, all the enginerring programs together have less than two hundred students, says the administration, and they are costly programs.

I find this interesting in light of some conversations I've had at SCSU about our College of Science and Engineering. There, engineering programs and nursing have prospered, but their cost is so high that those in the traditional sciences like biology, physics and chemistry worry about their programs' future. Maybe there should be another SCSU blog from that school.