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[5]

Part of Minutes of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees

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- 3 - Engineering and computer science attracts the most outstanding group of students of any academic program in the Commonwealth. Not only does the average ACT score for entering freshmen consistently rank from 26 to 27, but one-quarter of the national merit scholars who attend the University of Kentucky choose engineering and computer science as their initial major. The University has bucked a national downturn in engineering and computer science enrollment over the past five years, and currently, both enrollment and graduation rates are at historical highs. The College supports a comprehensive array of professional and honorary societies and uses the proceeds of the annual phonathon to sponsor this aspect of the professional development of its students. Many of these groups, including the Society of Women Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Engineering Student Council, have received national recognition for the excellence of their programs. UK's engineering and computer science faculty numbers 138, one third of which have been hired since 1990. Among this group are a substantial number of individuals who have been accorded the status of Fellow in one or more professional societies, eight assistant professors who have been recognized by the National Science Foundation as Presidential Young Investigators, six who have received campus or university wide teaching awards over the past seven years, and five who have served as president or vice- president of a national professional society. Eleven percent of the faculty are female, one of the highest percentages of any engineering program nationally. The prominence that UK's engineering and computer science faculty enjoy nationally is corroborated by the number who have been hired by other institutions for top level administrative or distinguished faculty positions. Over the past decade, 12 individuals have gone on to positions as chairs, deans, vice presidents, and even president. UK's engineering and computer science faculty rank 55th nationally among all institutions, and 41st nationally among public universities, in their research productivity, among nearly 200 institutions ranked by the National Science Foundation. The University's engineering and computer science programs are well positioned to assume even greater prominence in the future. The College has merged departments, suspended low-enrollment programs, and transferred the Department of Computer Science to the College of Engineering in order to focus resources on the most critical academic initiatives. It has adopted an ambitions continuous quality improvement program, at the request of the College's Advisory Board, to facilitate the success of these initiatives. The Commonwealth and the University have also invested heavily in the development of a world-class infrastructure in which its engineering and computer science faculty can carry out their critical work. The completion of the Mechanical Engineering Building, whose funding is anticipated by the 1998 General Assembly, will conclude an investment over 14 years of approximately $105 million in engineering and computer science facilities.