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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 8:30am

sed seal                                                                                                 




TO:                                                 The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:                                         Frank Muñoz


SUBJECT:                             Master Plan Amendment: State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering


DATE:                                      April 6, 2010


STRATEGIC GOAL:             Goal 2








Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


                            Should the Board of Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of the State University of New York that authorizes the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome to offer the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering?

Reason(s) for Consideration

              Required by State regulation.

Proposed Handling

This question will come before the full Board at its April 2010 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken. 


Procedural History

              A master plan amendment is required because this would be the College’s first baccalaureate degree program in the discipline of engineering.

Background Information

              The State University Board of Trustees, at its November 17, 2009 meeting, adopted a resolution to amend the State University Master Plan to authorize the State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) at Utica/Rome to offer instruction leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Although the College has been offering a similar engineering program in partnership with SUNY Binghamton, the proposed program will represent the College’s first standalone engineering program. The program also builds upon the longstanding history of the College’s engineering technology programs, and integrates both electrical and computer engineering areas into a single, unified degree program.  Students will be prepared as electrical and computer engineers, and will choose from a number of related career paths depending on which concentration is selected.

              The program’s 125-130 credit hour curriculum consists of liberal arts, mathematics, science, and engineering coursework.  The Electrical Engineering concentration includes a minimum of 19 credit hours in academic foundation courses, 96 credit hours in mathematics, science, and engineering, and 10 credit hours in restricted electives.  Computer Engineering includes a minimum of 22 credit hours in academic foundation courses, 97 credit hours in mathematics, science, and engineering, and six credit hours in restricted electives.  This proposed program is based on the current SUNYIT and SUNY Binghamton multiple-institution B.S. Electrical Engineering program, which will be phased out.  SUNYIT will seek accreditation for the program from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Students admitted to this program will typically have a mean mathematics SAT score of 550, mean high school averages of 90, rank in the top 20 percent of the high school class, and have four years each of college-preparatory mathematics, science, and English, and two years of social sciences. Admissions criteria for transfer students entering the program include a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The estimated enrollment for the first year is between 50-60 students, and is projected to increase to approximately 110 students by the fifth year.   

The program will capitalize on faculty and staff associated with current engineering technology and related programs and will add faculty and staff to meet immediate and future enrollment projections.  Current full-time and part-time faculty dedicated to the new program include ten with Ph.D.s in various computer science and electrical/computer engineering specialties. Many of the faculty have been teaching in the SUNYIT-Binghamton engineering partnership program.  The Institute plans to hire one full-time and one additional part-time faculty member annually over the next five years. 

SUNYIT will use existing space within the School of Information Systems and Engineering Technology to support the immediate laboratory and classroom requirements for the proposed program.  A new Center for Advanced Technology building, with planned construction to begin in 2011, will meet future faculty, student, and program workspace requirements.  The current primary engineering labs include existing and new electrical and electronic engineering equipment.  There are also computer labs with workstations and additional labs currently used for microprocessors, robotics, and networking and digital filter design.  Funding to implement the new program will be supported by new business initiatives and educational partnership grants, which include a recent partnership with SUNY Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

SUNYIT’s Cayan Library subscribes to three comprehensive databases that would support students and faculty in the proposed program:  IEEE Xplore, Engineering Village, and ScienceDirect, as well as other general interest databases in related fields. The College also participates in a special project - the IDS Project - which streamlines access to material held at all SUNY libraries and several large private universities in New York State.  In addition, the Cayan Library has numerous reciprocal borrowing agreements worldwide using OCLC's Illiad system.

The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome and a number of individual companies including Northrop Grumman, Alion Science and Technology, BAE Systems, and CACI International have expressed support for the new program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 6.3 percent increase in the number of electrical engineering jobs in the period 2006-2016, while positions in computer hardware and electronics engineers are expected to increase from 3.7 to 4.6 percent in the period 2006-2016.  The New York State Department of Labor states that the outlook in these job titles through 2014 appears favorable with average annual job vacancies of 450 statewide.

              A canvass was conducted of all degree-granting institutions in the Central Region and to all degree-granting institutions offering Engineering programs statewide.  There were no objections to the proposed program.


              It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the proposed master plan amendment of the State University of New York authorizing the Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome to offer the Bachelor of Science degree program in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This amendment will be effective until April 20, 2011, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case the Master Plan Amendment shall be without term.

Timetable for Implementation

              If the Board of Regents approves the master plan amendment, the Department will register the program following gubernatorial approval, and the institution will proceed to recruit and enroll program students.