Washington Engineer - April 2012 Video Message
Hi, I'm Matt O'Donnell, Dean of Engineering at the University of Washington. Welcome to this edition of Washington Engineer. In this issue, we'll address the high demand for engineers in Washington State.
As the tech economy grows, we are under continual pressure at the university to produce the engineers needed by the state's economy. Well, just like many states in the United States, we have been hurt by the financial crisis. As a result of that, our budgets in the College of Engineering have been reduced and we've had pressure on us to try to maintain enrollments let alone to grow them.
We are turning away fabulous kids who are coming into our programs. On campus alone, about one out of two students who are already in the University of Washington are denied admission into an engineering department -- not because they're not capable of doing the work, but because there simply aren't the seats for being able to do that.
We believe that access is spelled with two A's. First of all, it must be available, that is, we must have slots available for all students. And secondly, it must be affordable so that all students in the State of Washington will have the ability, no matter what their financial means, of attending the University of Washington.
So, to to try to grow enrollments, we have done two things. One is we've partnered with the state in the latest budget for a proviso that should increase enrollment by several hundred students. But to go beyond that and provide the kind of students we need for the state's economy, we're proposing a program fee which would increase revenues to the college. At the same time, we're also providing a very large financial aid package which will ensure that all students in the State of Washington will have access to our programs.
In this issue you'll be reminded why maintaining a strong engineering program at the University of Washington is essential for the state's economy. Thank you for reading this issue of Washington Engineer.