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tennessee technological university

Manufacturing and Engineering Technology

Tennessee Tech University Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Advisory Board

Minutes of the Meeting

The forty-second meeting of MITAB was held March 28, 2003, in the OVC Room of the University Center.

PRESENT: Barry Allison, Dr. Marvin Barker, Jonathan Converse, Dean Johnson (Ex-officio), Jim Cobb, David Collier, Dr. Susan Elkins, Dr. Ahmed ElSawy, Dr. Ismail Fidan, Jim Hearne, Chris Hetzler, Matt Lanius, Dr. Roy Loutzenheiser, Lem McSpadden, Jason Smith, Dr. Delbert Stone, Robert Toline, Dr. Fred Vondra, Les Williams and Pauline Ward.

ABSENT: Gene Brooks, Greg Brummitt, Gerald Hale, Robert Henley, Marc Lewis, Winston Massengale, Robert Martin, Gale Miller, Andy Page, Mike Rayburn, Doug Rines and Max Whatley.


Chris Hetzler opened the meeting at 12:30 p.m. Chris introduced Dean Johnson to the advisory board. Dean Johnson informed the advisory board Tennessee Tech would be taking a 9 percent budget cut next year. Some academic units had to give back a higher percent than others. The College of Engineering was treated very fairly. The university had to return $400,000. Faculty and technician positions were protected because they have the first interaction with students. Cuts were made in areas that would have the least impact on students. One-half of the travel and equipment funds were taken from the MIT department. The department will receive new differential maintenance fees, which will amount to more than the budget cuts. Differential Maintenance fee scholarships are now being awarded with two of the scholarships being awarded to MIT students. Thirty-two scholarships were given from these fees. The previous year only the bare essential personnel were kept last year during the budget analysis. The College of Engineering is sending the new newsletter to press in a couple of weeks. There are several articles in the newsletter about MIT. Coral Nocton did an outstanding job with Engineering Week making it possible. The department has tremendous potential and is not in competition with any other department since it produces technologist. MIT graduates receive a well-rounded education and hit the ground running. Donations made by donors, that have a requested way for their donation to be spent, have to be honored. Engineering Development Foundation takes care of MIT funds also. The scholarships give by Engineering also includes MIT students. Scholarships are no longer given based on the ESAP exam. The conference room in Prescott Hall will be renovated using differential maintenance fees and Engineering Development Foundation. The conference room will be well light, clean, bright state of the art equipment.

Chris introduced the new and returning advisory board members:

  1. Les Williams was one of the original advisory board members. He graduated from Tennessee Tech in 1975. Les went to Chattanooga after co-oping with a foundry. He has worked for Porter Warner for the past 25 years.
  2. Robert Toline graduated from Tennessee Tech in 1976. He co-oped for one year in a foundry. His father was a professor here at Tennessee Tech. He currently owns and operated his own business called House Doctor, currently employing six individuals. He is looking forward to working with the students and helping the department.
  3. Matt Lanius graduated from Tennessee Tech in 1997. He went to work for Peterbuilt and worked there for several years. He received his masters from Western Kentucky. He worked for International for some time. He is currently working for Delta Consolidated Industries as Cell Manager-Steel Products. He manages the steel product cell.

Dr. Barker informed the advisory board that the university went through a budget cut. The academic side took a 5.5 percent budget cut and the non-academic side of campus lost 10 percent and Engineering lost 3.9 percent. The College of Engineering receives the additional funds from lab fees. Dr. Barker said he just received the ABET accreditation report with four departments receiving a six year renewal and two departments still have responses. This is the very best preliminary report that Dr. Barker has seen in 13 years. The class size will increase and there will not be as much flexibility with the classes in order to accommodate the budget cuts. The governor has called for a 9 percent decrease next year. Tuition will probably have to be increased and according to financial aid increases could go up to 30 percent before affecting enrollment. Students pay $200 per year for a Technology Access Fee. The departments obtain funds by differential lab fees, technology access fees and equipment budget. The university is cutting some positions due to the budget reductions. The positions are in areas where technology is sufficient enough that a secretary is not necessary. Two departments are being merged together and one chairperson position will be terminated before the end of the year.

Exploring fundraiser for labs and scholarships efforts in the light of budget cuts.

Lem McSpadden asked how many of the board members gave money to the College of Engineering designating which department the money was to be used. Only 11 to 13 percent of alumni donate to the university after graduating. Lem told the advisory board that he did not compose the letter in the packet that was distributed and wanted any information sent to him in advance to allow time to look the material over prior to the meeting. Fundraisers will have to be coordinated in a manner in order not to interfere with the university campaigns. Lem has volunteered to meet on a monthly basis with other members of the committee to work out the details to try to raise money for the department. Lem told the advisory board that every dollar that has been donated to MIT is put in a MIT account. Any unrestricted funds in the Engineering Development Foundation (EDF) goes to scholarships. This year there is no interest to spend out of the EDF account. Dr. ElSawy asked the advisory board for suggestions to improve the labs before accreditation. Chris asked Dr. ElSawy to compose a list of equipment that the department needs. The list will be distributed to the advisory board to see if they can help obtain equipment for the department. Lem cautioned the advisory board to make sure that when a donation is restricted to a certain area that the restriction is the area needing help. Les Williams requested that a list of account numbers along with the account name be distributed to the advisory board stating what each account is used for. There is typically one capital campaign per year that includes the MIT department. The capital campaign is handled through Alumni Affairs.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes were approved with the changes noted.

Recognition of MITAB Scholarship Recipient

Chris introduced Jonathan Converse who received the MITAB scholarship spring 2003. Jonathan is from Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. He graduated from Cumberland County High School in 2000 with honors. After graduating from high school attended Roane State Community College for two years taking basic introductory classes. At that time started Tennessee Tech in the IT program. He plans to graduate in 2004. Hobbies include golfing, hunting, fishing, weight lifting, running and watching all sports.

MIT Department's Vision, Mission and Strategic Plans

Chris asked Dr. ElSawy to explain the department's strategic plan. The literature distributed to the advisory board was only a draft and he asked for the advisory board's input. The mission statement will be condensed before being sent to the advisory board for their input. The advisory board will email their thoughts for changes to Dr. ElSawy by April 3, 2003. Dr. ElSawy will return the document to the advisory board the next day with any changes. A motion was made by Lem McSpadden to have any document that needs to be examined for input by the advisory board sent two weeks in advance. The motion carried. Another motion was made that a final examination of this document be made at the fall meeting. The motion carried. Lem thought the mission statement should only be three for four sentences long. Dr. ElSawy said the mission statement is mainly for accreditation. Any comments from the board have to be returned to Dr. ElSawy within three working days.

Status of the new General Education Proposal and the 120 Credit Hour Degree Program

Dr. ElSawy distributed a draft copy of the new curriculum that the department will implement in Fall 2004 dropping the total number of hours down to 120. Lem said he wanted to make sure that Dr. ElSawy was informing the board that the state is requiring the cut in the hours and there is nothing that the advisory board can do about the cut back. Reduction of the total hours from 128 to 120 will be state wide due to budget cuts.

New Interdisciplinary Studies in Industrial Supervision

Chris introduced Dr. Susan Elkins. Dr. Elkins is the director of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education. Extended Education works with every department campus wide. Classes are taught in different town, over the web and on campus. Extended Education provides support to faculty teaching courses in an outreach effort for students who were not able to come to college at 18 and stay four years to obtain a degree. The school of Interdisciplinary Studies provides on line degrees for non-traditional students. Students can currently obtain two degrees through Interdisciplinary Studies. Dr. Elkins distributed the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education annual report for 2001-2002. Students who receive a BSIS have to have two areas of emphasis with 12 hours in each area. There are 11 or 12 different concentrations across campus.

Change in the MITAB bylaws

Chris turned the meeting over to Jim Cobb. Jim asked the advisory board to turn to page three of the 41st minutes. The advisory board decided to look in their files to see if there are bylaws for the advisory board. The board decided to remove the word bylaws and replace with general information or guidelines in the minutes. Jim inquired about a financial statement that the previous minutes stated Dr. ElSawy would present. No business concerning the general information guidelines could be conducted because the majority of the members were not present. A motion was made to insert the information as number 12 and update the general information guidelines. The motion passed. Lem made a motion to try to find the bylaws. In the absence of an official set of bylaws the general information 1991-92 will become the official bylaws. The motion passed. If the bylaws are located a copy will be forwarded to all advisory board members.

Recommendations and Closing Comments

The fall meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 24, 2003. The advisory board will meet in Lewis Hall at 10:30 a.m. and take a 1 ½ hour lunch with a quick break in the afternoon for pictures with the meeting ending at 3:00 p.m. Standard business will be covered first. Any business requiring lengthy discussion will be on the agenda last.

Lem stressed again that any documents that needed to be discussed at the advisory board meeting be distributed to the members at least one week in advance but they would prefer a two week lead way.

Pauline Ward