College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Reflections on the start of a new academic year

Sarah Rajala

This is the start of my first academic year in the College of Engineering. Spring and summer were very enjoyable, but there is nothingSarah Rajala like the beginning of a new college year. It’s an exciting time on campus – not only for students, but also faculty, staff and everyone associated with the university.

Our college is experiencing continued record enrollment with 8,284 students this fall. Engineering graduates are in high demand around the world, and we are dedicated to educating and training these future leaders. A growing college means more resources dedicated to enhancing our learning environments and the student experience. You will see below I have emphasized this as a priority.

Earlier this month we held our college convocation, at which I outlined my goals for 2013-14. I am encouraged by the support I have received, and we are working hard to implement these goals:

  • Continue to deliver a high-quality education to our students
  • Hire at least 17 new faculty members who will complement our strengths and enhance our diversity
  • Develop a new model for Engineering Online to encourage growth, new pedagogical development and sustainability
  • Increase the number of graduate students, especially at the doctoral level
  • Expand and diversify our research portfolio
  • Develop a new plan for renovation and expansion of College of Engineering space
  • Increase private gift-giving

During the convocation, I also had the honor of recognizing many people in the college who contribute to our success every day. I welcomed new faculty members and staff, highlighted academic promotions, and gave out 13 medallion awards—11 patent awards and six faculty and staff awards. It was a pleasure to focus much of the convocation on people who are truly committed to student achievement and success.

I have posted my convocation presentation online for you to review. As always, I appreciate hearing from you and look forward to comments. Thank you to everyone who makes the College of Engineering a success – I am excited for the new year!