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Special Report
Interdisciplinary Activities and Programs

 April 1998


From the Chair of the Advisory Board...

The Advisory Board of The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering was recently expanded from 15 to 20 members. This expanded Board brings together a wide diversity of successful business leaders from all parts of the United States.

The mission of the Board is to provide advice and support to the Department on existing and proposed educational and academic programs and to work toward raising the reputation and ranking of The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This Board is committed to working with the Department Head and the Dean of Engineering to ensure that Virginia Tech continues to enjoy its well-deserved reputation in the fields of electrical and computer engineering. To this end, the Board is exploring several issues that affect the quality and reputation of the Department.

Virginia Tech now produces nearly 50 percent of Virginia's graduates in computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering, and the number of students enrolled in these programs has doubled in the last two years. In spite of this, the need for these technical graduates has far outstripped the demand. The Board is actively exploring with the Department Head ways to expand Virginia Tech's role in this ever-increasing demand for technical graduates.

Another issue under consideration by the Board is that computer science and computer engineering are currently being taught in two different colleges within the University. There is an increasing feeling in industry that these two curricula should be closely tied together. While no conclusions have been reached, the Advisory Board has formed a subcommittee to look at the pros and cons of placing both curricula in one department.

The Advisory Board is also investigating the Department's reputation and perceived quality. This is in response to the U.S. News and World Report's ranking of colleges and universities that is widely accepted as an authoritative guide to a college's quality. After experiencing a decline in the rankings over the past few years, the College of Engineering's standing increased in the 1998 issue of the publication. Our Advisory Board has formed a subcommittee to explore ways to continue this trend and to improve the quality of both the Department and the College.

These are but some of the projects your Advisory Board has undertaken in the past year. Virginia Tech has outstanding students, an excellent faculty and staff, and modern facilities. It is up to all of us to work through the political process to obtain the support and funding necessary to move ahead in the coming years. I ask all of you to join with the Advisory Board in helping The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to achieve a preeminent position in this field.

Donald W. Mayberry, Chair
The Advisory Board
The Bradley Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Vice President-Research and Tests
Norfolk Southern Corp.

The Bradley Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, May 10, 1998
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