October 20, 2010

Five-year strategic plan describes the “LSU Engineer” and delivers blueprint to success through troubled economic times.

Louisiana, like most of the world, depends on engineers for economic development, growth and success. In recognition of the important role these engineers and construction managers will play in the future of the state, LSU’s College of Engineering, or CoE, has developed a five-year strategic plan to capitalize on its current success and continue to excel even during the current, bleak budget situation.

This strategic blueprint sets a bold statement for the CoE mission, not just to graduate engineers and construction managers, but to provide the next generation of leaders for industry and society. The plan identifies the college’s strengths and opportunities while clearing a pathway to success in 2015.

“As the flagship engineering program representing the state, the LSU College of Engineering is dedicated to creating engineers who solve society's problems, transform ideas into reality and generate prosperity that improves the quality of life,” said Dean of the LSU College of Engineering Richard Koubek. “At LSU, we are committed not just to producing top-notch engineers, which we do, but also to meeting the future needs of Louisiana as outlined in the Louisiana Economic Development’s Blue Ocean Strategy.”

The five-year plan focuses on eight specific strategies, including:

1.      Preparing students for a rapidly changing, dynamic world

2.      Conducting research to improve quality of life with a specific focus on energy and infrastructure

3.      Fostering a culture of diversity

4.      Improving and diversifying Louisiana’s economy

5.      Enhancing retention and making the College of Engineering a student-friendly learning environment

6.      Improving the COE’s visibility – locally, nationally and internationally

7.      Developing diverse, entrepreneurial methods of income and  financial support

8.      Providing an environment conducive to effective decision-making.

The plan was developed through an intense process involving LSU engineering faculty, students, alumni and key stakeholders.

“This plan focuses on the College of Engineering’s strengths, identifies the environment around us and targets opportunities for future efforts,” said Will Pecue, 1983 LSU petroleum engineering alumnus, president of Taylor Energy Company  LLC and industry representative on the strategic plan committee. “Most important is being an ‘LSU Tiger,’ recognizing that we graduate quality graduates with a practical understanding of the workplace. We are both recognized and respected on a national level, as demonstrated by LSU’s leadership role in the recent Gulf of Mexico response. This strategic plan enables us to build on past success and provides the opportunity to deliver future LSU engineers better equipped for the global challenges that lie ahead.”

The strategic planning council developed an in-depth plan to not only enhance LSU’s already top-notch engineering program, but also share with the state, country and the world the unique value of a “LSU Engineer.”

Traits specific to LSU Engineers include:

  • Critical and holistic thinking
  • Life-long learners
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Awareness of national and international implications involved in issues such as the environment and sustainability
  • Possesses strong leadership qualities and problem-solving mechanisms

“As the difficult budget situation will get only more consuming as time goes on, I think it is a fantastic idea for the College of Engineering to be proactive and determine a strategic plan to guide them through the rough times ahead,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. “The college has enjoyed many successes, before and during the budget cuts, and I applaud Dean Koubek and the engineering faculty for their commitment and innovative thinking.”

During the past academic year of 2009-2010, while working vigorously on this strategic plan, the college faculty and staff have managed to post a number of remarkable achievements.

  • College of Engineering enrollment increased 20 percent from Fall 2008 to Fall 2010.
  • For the first time, the college has surpassed the $30 million dollar mark in new research awards from external sources.  Last year’s amount was $15.3 million and the previous all-time record was $18 million.
  • The college successfully completed two critical accreditation reviews (ABET and SACS).
  • Through the Forever LSU campaign, which concludes this year, alumni and partners have committed over $75 million dollars for the College of Engineering since its inception.
  • Working closely with colleagues across campus, the faculty played an instrumental role in addressing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill situation, serving as a primary source of expertise for industry, state and federal government and the media.

For more details about the plan or to view it in its entirety, visit www.eng.lsu.edu or contact Mimi LaValle at 225-578-5706 or mlavall@lsu.edu.

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Article by Mimi LaValle, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu



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