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Archive for Thursday, January 2, 2014

25 years ago: Consultants recommend axing KU architectural engineering program

January 2, 2014

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 2, 1989:

Three engineering professionals hired by the Kansas Board of Regents had recently recommended changes in the teaching of engineering at several regents institutions. The most controversial of the recommendations was their proposal to eliminate Kansas University's architectural engineering program. Kansas State University was in a better position to teach the subject, the consultants said, adding that they considered it "unnecessary duplication" to have two of the country's 12 accredited architectural engineering programs at state universities in Kansas. John Prados, a University of Tennessee professor who had been hired as one of the consultants, pointed out that their recommendation included the condition that resources used in KU's program would "have to be moved to strengthen other engineering programs.... It isn't that the team thinks the KU program is bad. It is just that if -- the 'if' is very important -- resources can be retained, the change will be beneficial." Donald Rathbone, dean of the College of Engineering at KSU, supported the proposed changes, but Judith Ramaley, executive vice chancellor for KU's Lawrence campus, spoke out against the recommendation and the process used to reach it. "On every count there is a problem with this recommendation," Ramaley said. "It was a process that was conducted superficially. It considered only a few criteria that state systems employ when they handle these tough problems of program duplication. The proposal is to take down a first-class program, with stable enrollment, a strong research mission. That is not a wise decision on behalf of the people of Kansas," she stated.

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