Kansas State University is a comprehensive, research, land-grant institution serving students and the people of Kansas, and also the nation and the world. Since its founding in 1863, the University has evolved into a modern institution of higher education, committed to quality programs, and responsive to a rapidly changing world and the aspirations of an increasingly diverse society. Together with other major comprehensive universities, Kansas State shares responsibilities for developing human potential, expanding knowledge, enriching cultural expression, and extending its expertise to individuals, businesses, education, and government. These responsibilities are addressed through an array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research and creative activities, and outreach and public service programs. In addition, its land-grant mandate, based on federal and state legislation, establishes a focus to its instructional, research, and extension activities, which is unique among the Regents' institutions.
Program review serves the purpose of attainment of future goals, development of fresh curricula, and meeting the needs of students, faculty, and the Board of Regents (BOR). In developing a review process, the Program Review Task Force at K-State seriously considered what faculty and department administrators should provide to make the review useful while avoiding unnecessary work. The materials used to prepare the review were consistent with the six criteria identified by the BOR in their program review document. Departments provided information on their instructional, scholarly, and service activities and programs. Deans received a detailed Statistical Overview prepared by the Office of Planning and Analysis and specified by the BOR. In response to the Program Review process, each department prepared a Program Review Report (PRR) containing common information.
In preparing the PRR, the Colleges and Departments were aware of degree standards for the number of majors, number of degrees granted annually, number of faculty supporting a degree, and quality of undergraduate students suggested by the BOR. After a review of the Program Review Report and the information in the Statistical Overview by the College Dean, the Graduate School Dean, and the College Committees on Planning, additional information could also be requested. The Deans are responsible for preparing the two page summaries. Drafts of the PRR and the two page summaries were provided to the Provost for review and comment.
For this review cycle, K-State reviewed the academic degree programs for the following Departments in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design: Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Regional and Community Planning, and the following Departments in the College of Engineering: Architectural and Construction Science Management, Biological and Agricultural, Chemical, Civil, Computing and Information Sciences, Electrical and Computer, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems, Mechanical and Nuclear. The two page summaries for each Department are attached. This year because of redundancy, the Departments combined the two page reports for all degree programs within their department, therefore the two pages are extended to three or four for each department. The following provides a short review of any significant highlights, changes, or recommendations for the departments and their related degree programs.
The 11 departments and 22 degree programs reviewed this year are on the whole strong and viable academic areas. These programs are essential to the diversity of Kansas State University. The College of Engineering is central to the mission of K-State as a land-grant institution. Some of the degree programs reviewed this year are unique to the state and are not offered by any other institution in the Regent System (i.e., Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Nuclear Engineering). Each department and their associated academic programs provide options and opportunities for the advancement of education, research, and service. Both colleges have degrees at the bachelor's and masters levels. The College of Engineering also offers degrees at the doctoral levels. As noted in the two page reviews, graduates from these programs are highly successful in seeking employment or further education.
For the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, all degree programs except two (Masters of Architecture and Masters of Environmental Planning) have met the Board of Regents (BOR) criteria. The college offers several programs that are unique to the state of Kansas. The Bachelor of Interior Architecture offered at K-State is only one of three programs offered nation-wide. What distinguished K-State's program from these other programs are the quantity of technical courses, the architectural-based courses, product design and furniture design components.
The Departments of Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning were merged in 1993 to form the Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional, and Community Planning. This resulted in consolidating administrative office space and personnel as well as enhancing faculty and student exchanges between the two programs. The diverse and nationally recognized Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning faculty are involved with education, service, and scholarly and creative activities in community and landscape planning, design and management. The three professionally accredited programs in this department stress the importance of the natural and built place within the larger context of public policy.
The Department of Architecture furthers the College's mission of providing professional education and fostering the development and dissemination of knowledge among its majors and allied disciplines. The department participates in the multi-disciplinary Galichia Center on Aging. The demand for graduates from the professional architecture programs, and for Kansas State's programs, especially, is high. Graduates from the bachelor's program have an exceptionally high rate of success on the professional licensing exam, are actively recruited by employers, and gain admission to the most prestigious graduate schools.
Thirty-two different degree programs in the College of Engineering were reviewed. The architectural engineering program serves the educational needs for students particularly interested in engineering aspects of building design. Specifically, the student must be able to understand and apply engineering fundamentals and design principles involved in the infrastructure of architecture, i.e. structural, mechanical, and electrical building systems. The construction science and management program prepares students to be professional construction coordinators, and managers of personnel resources, financial resources, materials, and machines at building sites. The masters program in Architectural Engineering does not meet BOR guidelines for enrollment, but the numbers of graduates does meet the BOR guidelines. The undergraduate program in ARE is a five-year program. Selected students in the undergraduate program may pursue a M.S. degree by taking an additional 15 hours. This approach accounts for the low enrollments in the M.S. program while the number of graduates meets BOR guidelines. It is designated as an Interdisciplinary and Coordinated Program.
The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering adds a distinctive characteristic to the K-State College of Engineering because of its role in serving the Kansas agricultural industry and general citizenry through K-State Research and Extension (KSRE) programs. The department uses approximately 70% of its faculty resources to fulfill its mission of providing engineering research and extension support to KSRE. The Agricultural Technology Management program produces graduates capable of operating and managing the complex systems utilized by agricultural food and fiber system industries. The only programs that do not meet BOR guidelines are the master's degree enrollment and the Ph.D. production. However, these programs are cost-effective given the department's involvement in many research-sponsored programs.
The Department of Chemical Engineering has established several primary objectives for preparing students for diverse professional careers in chemical engineering or for advanced professional study. In the curriculum, students are presented basic engineering fundamentals. They progress through physical and natural sciences, and engineering sciences, and culminate with an engineering design project. The masters degree enrollment and degree production do not meet BOR guidelines. The department is, however, involved in many research-sponsored programs. The master's degree program is cost-effective, is supportive of the B.S. and Ph.D. programs, and will continue to be a viable option for many students.
The Department of Civil Engineering responsibilities are addressed through an array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research and creative activities, and outreach and public service programs. Specifically, the department provides excellence in classroom instruction and an educational environment that prepares students for professional careers in civil engineering, and advancements in civil infrastructure development and preservation. All BOR program review guidelines are met in the department.
Because the knowledge and technologies for computing and information systems are essential for workers in every discipline of society, the Department of Computing and Information Sciences provide an essential piece to the University mission. The department supports a significant number of service course credit hours to other engineering and non-engineering students. This service load continues to challenge the optimization of resources, including faculty, staff, and laboratory equipment. All BOR program review standards are fulfilled except the undergraduate degree production in the information systems program. The disparity between the number of junior and senior majors and the number of graduates in the information systems program is because many transfer students who come into the program with enough credits to be categorized as an upper classman will take at least 3 years to finish because they don't have the required computer science background. Overall, the department is very cost-effective.
All degree programs in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering stress the theory and practical aspects of the disciplines, such that the students can become technically competent, problem-solving employees for computer and electronics industries. All BOR program review standards are fulfilled except for the Ph.D. degree production in the electrical engineering program. This is partially a result of the booming economy of the late 1990's, which employed many of the students before they finished their dissertations. This impact was minimized at the masters' level by aggressive recruiting of K-State graduates and graduates of the science programs wishing to pursue an engineering graduate degree. The department has pursued the effort to increase enrollment by providing better support for Ph.D. students and actively recruiting students with fellowships.
The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering offers a total of six degrees: B.S. degrees in industrial engineering and manufacturing systems engineering, M.S. degrees in industrial engineering and operation research, a master's of engineering management degree, and a Ph.D. degree in industrial engineering. It should be noted that the Operations Research and Manufacturing Systems Engineering programs are service support programs with an interdisciplinary emphasis and are tied to the research efforts and mission of the College. Overall, these programs, by being supportive of each other and also supportive of programs in other departments, are considered to be valuable programs for the College. The master's degree program in engineering management has had few students and no graduates. This master's degree program was approved in 1997 by the BOR and is a distance education program. Consequently, students will usually take 3-4 years to complete the program. To date, 3 students have received degrees in the engineering management program.
The Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering
were merged into one department in 1996. The new department
recruits top quality students; establishes and maintains world-class
teaching and research facilities; and discovers and disseminates
new knowledge and new applications of knowledge. The department
houses a TRIGA Mark II pulsing nuclear reactor. All BOR program
review standards are fulfilled except the graduate degrees
in nuclear engineering.
In this year's review, three masters degree programs are considered distance education. This presented a dilemma in reporting the productivity and cost effectiveness of these programs because headcounts are not included in the 20th day enrollment figures. If a student is enrolled only in distance education courses, then this student is considered non-base and is not included in the base enrollment counts. Also, the time to degree is longer than most conventional masters programs. Table 1 shows the number of students enrolled in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design and College of Engineering distance degree programs. Even though this table does not show a five-year average, it does provide an idea of the magnitude of these programs outside of any on-campus enrollments.
During this review, six programs with low enrollments and low degrees conferred will be closely monitored over the next three years. Two of these programs (masters in engineering management and masters in environmental planning and management) are distance education programs and at this time, distance education enrollments are not included in the headcounts. The University intends to move all these programs "into the base" when the SIS and assessment computing systems can be modified sufficiently to allow it. As this is accomplished, enrollments can be included with better analysis of the effectiveness and size of the programs.
The masters program in Operations Research is offered by contract to the US Army at Fort Leavenworth. With recent discontinuation of some Operations Research programs offered by other universities across the U.S., K-State has begun to offer this program at those discontinued sites. Again, these courses will slowly move to the base and then reporting these headcounts will be much easier.
The masters program in Architecture has had difficulty during the last three years in meeting the minimum enrollment criteria. As a result, this program has undergone an additional internal review. Based upon that review, the department has taken several steps to strengthen the masters program in Architecture including the establishment of a program specialization emphasizing university teaching, creation of web-based program information and application process, and enhanced program leadership for better student advising and more diverse faculty participation. A plan is in place to increase enrollment and will be closely monitored by the Provost.
With the merger of the mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering departments, the undergraduate program in nuclear engineering is now offered as an option under the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. The graduate programs in nuclear engineering were maintained as individual degree programs. Average enrollment in the master's degree program in nuclear engineering is three students, with an average of one M.S. degree granted per year. Average doctoral enrollment in nuclear engineering is one student, with two Ph.D. degrees granted during the time period. The faculty and facilities involved in the graduate nuclear engineering degree programs primarily support the undergraduate nuclear engineering option and the K-State TRIGA Nuclear Reactor. There is a national resurgence in demand for nuclear engineers with graduate degrees. The recent hiring of two nuclear engineering-trained faculty members bode well for the future growth of the graduate nuclear engineering programs. These new faculty members will bring to the department their established research programs and graduate students. It is expected that within four years the M.S. and Ph.D. enrollments and graduate production in nuclear engineering will increase to the levels of the BOR criteria. Again, the Provost will monitor the growth in the nuclear engineering graduate program over the next three years.
Kansas State University believes this program review process is very useful in keeping programs strong and effective. K-State's internal additional review process has been stringent but meaningful in providing an opportunity for departments and programs to develop a plan for improving their program. In some instances, it has brought to the forefront programs that needed to be merged or discontinued. Since the inception of this process three years ago, K-State has internally reviewed 11 programs (which are currently under monitor program improvement), discontinued eight programs, and currently six programs are in the process for discontinuation. For program review 2002, four degree programs have been designated for additional review, Geology's bachelor's and masters programs, Airway Science bachelor's program and Technology Management bachelor's program. The Political Science masters program will be reviewed next year once a permanent department chair has been selected.
Since no degree programs are being recommended for deletion, there are no direct fiscal consequences for the university. However, increasing enrollments in the masters programs of engineering management, environmental planning and management, operations research, and architecture and the masters and Ph.D. programs in nuclear engineering should make these programs more cost effective. Given the limited changes recommended above, the colleges will not see any significant resources made available from these recommendations.