Budget cuts claim engineering program

Tech’s College of Engineering plans to terminate its Industrial and Systems Engineering program as a result of recent funding reductions. The ISE program has 53 students enrolled as of Fall 2009, making it the smallest of Tech’s engineering programs. The college has formulated a plan which will ensure degree completion in a timely manner for current students.

“Closing the Industrial and Systems Engineering program is a bad idea, in my opinion,” said Brice Bennett, senior ISE major. “Industrial engineering is one of the fastest growing of all the engineering programs.

“I think they could have found a more efficient way to find the money for the budget reductions that would have made more sense.”

The College of Engineering has endured a reduction of approximately $1 million in state appropriation over the last two fiscal years.

The ISE program cancellation is one of many severe cuts brought about by nearly two decades of budget reductions. Both Tech and the College of Engineering face two years of critical cutbacks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, more industrial engineers are employed in Tennessee than any other engineers.

“According to substantial evidence, the industrial engineering discipline is one of the fastest growing nationally and most prevalent for engineering jobs in the state,” said Jessica Matson, professor of industrial and systems engineering. “I think the removal of this program is unfortunate for the state of Tennessee.”

Beginning July 30, 2012, the ISE program will no longer offer regular ISE courses. By this time, current ISE students should have completed degree requirements.

Along with most engineering programs, the ISE program at Tech is accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, which will coordinate the closure to further ensure the quality of the program.