MADISON — The effort by University of Wisconsin-Stout to meet employers’ engineering needs in Wisconsin received a significant boost Thursday, Aug. 18, when the UW System Board of Regents unanimously approved creating a School of Engineering.
“We really appreciate the Regents and UW System partnering with us in promoting engineering education in western Wisconsin,” Chancellor Bob Meyer said. “This School of Engineering will be a key piece in advancing engineering educational opportunities, not only at UW-Stout but at UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls as well.”
The school will be part of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management. No additional funding was requested.
University officials told the Board of Regents that the school would help coordinate UW-Stout’s existing engineering programs and help develop additional programs. The school also would help the university raise private funds to assist engineering education at UW-Stout, officials said.
“The establishment of the School of Engineering will enhance our efforts to attract qualified students to our programs by allowing us to highlight the majors associated with the school,” said Patrick Guilfoile, provost and vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
The school also “will allow us to more effectively coordinate program offerings,” Guilfoile said.
The school will include undergraduate programs in computer engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, plastics engineering and any engineering programs that might be added in the future.
More than 500 students are enrolled in the programs.
UW-Stout also offers engineering technology.
Meyer told the Regents’ Education Committee that the new school will help “leverage the resources” already present to aid in fundraising and other efforts.
Regent Margaret Farrow complimented UW-Stout for establishing the school, saying it will “shine a spotlight” on the need for more engineers in Wisconsin’s workforce.
UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls have formed the Northwest Wisconsin Engineering Consortium to support additional engineering programs to meet employer needs.