Read the full story by Karen Endicott, published in the Spring 2014 issue of Dartmouth Engineer.
President Phil Hanlon ’77 announced in November that expanding engineering was one of his top priorities for the College. “Thayer School is a site of research impact, innovative experiential learning, and interest in learning technologies,” he said. “It is also a unit of academic excellence well below critical mass by any measure.”
With expansion of engineering a key part of President Hanlon’s drive to increase Dartmouth’s experiential learning opportunities, entrepreneurial activities, and scholarly impact on the world, Thayer Dean Joseph Helble talked with Dartmouth Engineer about the future of the school.
“There are three reasons growth is important,“ Dean Helble said. “First, demand for an engineering education is reaching unprecedented levels. We have roughly 110 majors in the senior class, which will be an all-time record number of students graduating with engineering degrees, surpassing the record we set just last year. The numbers of matriculating freshmen and sophomores who say they’re interested in engineering are even greater. We don’t have enough faculty to meet this demand and maintain the class size and the intimate, closely connected experience that we offer. We need to increase faculty to reduce the student-faculty ratio, increase project and research opportunities for our students, and develop new courses to challenge our students at all levels of the curriculum.
“Second, by expanding the engineering faculty we can enhance the liberal arts education for all Dartmouth students. By making a real engineering experience part of a much larger number of Dartmouth students’ undergraduate education, Dartmouth can take a leadership role in defining what a liberal arts education means in the 21st century.”