Program Planning Committee Report of October 12_ 2007 to the Provost by hedongchenchen


									    Program Planning Committee Report to the Provost
                   October 12, 2007
     Chemical and Materials Engineering Department
                    2006-2007 cycle
The Program Planning Committee (PPC) commends the Chemical and Materials Engineering
Department on increasing student involvement and community spirit through providing more
scholarship money to undergraduates, recruiting more high performing freshmen, and by funding
more fulltime graduate students. Faculty members in the department are strong in teaching,
service and research, and should be especially commended on their success in obtaining grant
money. In addition to funding release time for faculty research, most equipment and repairs are
externally funded.
The department would like to add another faculty member in chemical engineering and one in
material engineering, but for now enrollment does not justify additional faculty. The main reason
for wanting more tenure track faculty is that over 50% of units are taught by part-time faculty,
mainly due to research and administrative release time to tenured faculty.
The PPC commends the department for having already improved the undergraduate computer
laboratory, with money from the college, as suggested by both the self-study and the external
The department has made some important progress toward program assessment. The
department has increased surveying of alumni in response to ABET requirements. The
department has developed an extensive list of student learning objectives for the undergraduate
program and graduate program. However, having reviewed department assessment reports fall
2006 and spring 2007, the PPC has some concerns about the department’s methods for
assessing student achievement on these objectives. Direct assessment of undergraduate student
performance on the learning objectives is a requirement for program planning and for WASC
accreditation. Obtaining sufficient employer and alumni responses is likely to remain a problem.
The PPC recommends working with Nikos Mourtos to develop direct assessment methods that
will satisfy both WASC and ABET. The College Assessment Facilitator, Minnie Patel or Ahmed
Hambaba, or the University Director of Assessment, Jackie Snell, can also assist in designing
assessment methods that will satisfy accreditation agencies. Assessment recommendations
made by AVP Robert Cooper and the Board of General Studies for GE courses would be good
guidelines to follow for the department’s major courses as well.
The Program Planning Committee recommends acceptance of the plan without modification. The
final step in the program planning process is a meeting with the Provost (or her designee), the
Vice Provost for Academic Budgets and Planning, the AVP of Undergraduate Studies, the AVP of
Graduate Studies, the Dean, and the Department Chair. The department should contact Janette
Pamintuan in the Office of Undergraduate Studies to schedule the final meeting.
The following suggested agenda items for the meeting with the Provost or her designee are
culled from suggestions given in the self-study, by the external reviewer and/or by the college
      Expanding in the areas of nanotechnology and biomanufacturing.
      Direct assessment of undergraduate student performance on Student Learning
      Ways of increasing student enrollment through service and/or general education courses
         in order to justify adding additional tenure track faculty.
      Instituting mandatory annual safety training for both undergraduate and graduate
      Improving interactions with alumni

Chemical & Materials Engineering                                                       page 1 of 4
If the Department would like to propose other issues, please let Janet Pamintuan know so that
the items can be added to the agenda.
The next program review for all programs in the Department of Chemical and Materials
Engineering is scheduled for AY 2012-2013.

Cc:     Emily Allen, Chair, Chemical and Materials Engineering
        Belle Wei, Dean, Engineering
        Ahmed Hambaba, Associate Dean, Engineering
        Michael Kaufman, Chair, Curriculum and Research
        Bob Cooper, AVP Undergraduate Studies
        Pam Stacks, AVP Graduate Studies
        Bill Nance, Vice-Provost

Chemical & Materials Engineering                                                     page 2 of 4
Appendix: Summary of the Program Planning Reports
for Chemical and Materials Engineering
Self-Study – revised January 15, 2007
The department offers four degrees, a B.S. in either Chemical or Materials Engineering, and an
M.S in either Chemical or Materials Engineering. Both of the undergraduate degrees are
accredited by the Accreditation Board for Education and Technology (ABET). Two other
undergraduate programs were cancelled in 2005 for lack of demand, Environmental Health and
Safety Engineering (EHS) and Microelectronics Process Engineering (MPE).
The two graduate programs share many of the same course requirements and electives, the
undergraduate programs share somewhat less. The department gains some economies of scale
from the overlap.
The department average enrollment was 208 students over the past five years, with no trend
evident for growing or shrinking enrollment. The FTES ranged from 125 and 140. Enrollment in
Chemical engineering is more than double that in Materials Engineering at both the graduate and
undergraduate levels. Enrollment is split about evenly between graduate and undergraduate
students. About half of FTES comes from service courses.
Faculty members in the department are very successful at obtaining external grants, so that the
department probably has the highest per capital external grants in the college. Because many
faculty are receiving release time for research, and others for administration, more than half of the
units taught are covered by lecturers. The department would like to hire two additional tenure
track faculty, but admit that FTES don’t justify the increase. They suggest increasing service
courses to justify additional tenure-track faculty, but do not discuss specific ways of increasing
enrollment from other majors. Another possibility discussed is an endowed Chair for the Materials
Engineering faculty, but the PPC questions the advisability of hiring into MatE given the lower
enrollment in that program. Currently there are 4 tenured faculty each in MatE and ChemE.
In the undergraduate programs during the past five years, prerequisite grade requirements were
raised and a statistics requirement was added. This has decreased the number of students who
must repeat upper division courses. A one unit course in scanning electron microscopy was
added which will be combined with other one unit courses, and will be required for MatE students.
In addition, a series of courses is now required in the junior year, with a minimum grade
requirement, in order to prepare students for their senior year. The department requests
adjustments in PeopleSoft to support faculty in grade checking. Faculty are doing all they can to
help students progress toward graduation, but digging for grade reports is not a good use of
Faculty time.
Supervising graduate student research is a significant strain on faculty time, especially since the
research requires lab time either on campus or at industry sites. The average time to degree for
graduate students is 4.7 years, with about half of that time spent completing course work and the
other half on the project or thesis. MatE students take slightly longer, and ChemE students
slightly less.
One solution to shorten the time to degree would be to offer more paper-based, as opposed to
lab-based, projects. This would also reduce the lab supervision time for faculty. Another solution
would be to raise the entrance requirements for graduate students, so that students would be
better able to work independently in the labs.
The department is working toward developing both the Microelectronics Process Engineering Lab
(MPEL) and the Materials Characterization and Metrology Center [MC] into college resources.

Chemical & Materials Engineering                                                         page 3 of 4
External Reviewer Report – March 13, 2007
The external reviewer, Karen McDonald of UC, Davis, says “The CME faculty are dedicated,
hardworking, and high caliber teachers, and researchers that are doing a remarkable job in
teaching, research and service….and have a great sense of collegiality…” The tuition waiver for
teaching assistants has had a positive impact on graduate student financing The external
reviewer notes differences in laboratories. The SEM , MPEL and Bioprocessing Laboratories are
examples of “very nice, state of the art facilities…” while the undergraduate ChemE laboratory
needs modernization.
At the graduate level Dr McDonald sees the major problem being that supervision of projects and
thesis is not considered in faculty workload.
The high level of release time for faculty results in heavy reliance on lecturers, which in turn
makes it hard to cover classes when a FT faculty member goes on sabbatical.
The external reviewer recommends expanding teaching and research in the areas of:
Biomanufacturing (aka biochemical engineering or biotechnology process engineering)
Dr. McDonald believes there is high demand in the Bay area, and that courses in this area would
attract students from biological sciences as well as other engineering majors, thus these would be
service courses.
Another field growing in the Bay Area, and a good match in faculty and facilities.
Biomedical Devices
This is currently offered and growing at the graduate level, could also be offered to

College of Engineering Committee – Undated
The college committee recommends for both the graduate and undergraduate levels:
       Collaborate with the Bioengineering program to develop biochemical processing
       Develop laboratory safety training - perhaps in partnership with the Environmental
        Health and Safety program on campus
       Develop a system to improve interactions with alumni
       Recruit a full-time faculty member.
(It isn’t clear to me whether they are recommending one faculty member, total, or one at each of
the graduate and undergraduate levels).

Thirty-Day Response to ABET – Undated
ABET pointed to insufficient data to assess program educational objectives. The department
response indicates they are in a position to get more alumni and employer data by conducting
focus groups, rather than mailed surveys, in the future..
ABET pointed to insufficient computer support in laboratories to accomplish program objectives.
The program was awarded $50,000 in Feb 2006 to upgrade the computer lab. Lists of specific
equipment and assignments are included
ABET notes a need to maintain better documentation to support transfer credit decisions. The
department has created a new form, which is inserted in every transfer student’s file.

Chemical & Materials Engineering                                                           page 4 of 4

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