Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science adopts a new departmentalized structure
As of May 1, Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science changed its organizational structure from a single academic unit to a new departmental structure with five departments.
The new departmental structure is part of the faculty’s strategic plan, Vision 2020, which includes growth of 40 new faculty positions by 2020, more than 300 graduate students and up to 500 additional undergraduates by 2020. The faculty is now in the third year of its eight-year growth plan.
“During the faculty’s strategic planning process, which included wide consultative feedback from faculty, staff, students and external stakeholders, the faculty’s organizational structure was discussed,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “As the faculty continues its rapid growth, the departmental structure is able to better position the faculty to realize and capitalize on the needs and opportunities in the province.”
The creation of departments will have many advantages. It creates a more viable organizational structure that allows the faculty to be better prepared and positioned for future growth. While teaching is a major component, the faculty is also significantly expanding in research and external collaboration with industry and other partners. The new departmentalized structure will better facilitate these partnerships and attract highly qualified faculty, researchers and industry partners.
For purposes of recruiting students, departments will have an improved program identity, which heightens the visibility and awareness of programs in departments. The new departmental model will also facilitate the resources needed to enhance student recruitment and retention activities.
“We have one of the premier engineering programs in Canada,” said Dr. Naterer. “Virtually all engineering faculties in Canada have departments. The faculty has grown to over 1,500 students, which is the same or larger than the average size of a Canadian engineering school. Our new departmental structure will be beneficial to the visibility of department heads on a national stage, such as national department head meetings, to promote our identity and recognition nationally.”
The faculty now has five departments – civil, electrical and computer, mechanical, ocean and naval architectural and process engineering – with a unique ‘hybrid’ structure that retains the efficiencies of various services centrally, such as graduate studies, grants and contracts. Space allocation is also managed centrally and not departmentalized so as to continue fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration that is not inhibited by the formation of departments.
“Unlike other traditional departmental structures, ours is a unique structure that takes advantage of both departmental and non-departmental structures,” said Dr. Naterer. “It devolves certain administrative responsibilities and empowers department heads, but retains certain strengths and efficiencies centrally in our current structure to avoid duplication or overlap of administrative tasks across departments.”