April 12, 2002

Tennessee Tech Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Advisory Board
Minutes of the Meeting

The fortieth meeting of the MITAB was held April 12, 2002 in the executive Dining Room of the University Center.

PRESENT: President Bell, Dr. Marvin Barker, Dean Johnson (Ex-offcio), Jim Cobb, David Collier, James Hearne, Robert Henley, Chris Hetzler, Marc Lewis, Dr. Roy Loutzenheiser, Robert Martin, Lem McSpadden, Andy Page, Michael Rayburn, Doug Rines and James Whatley - Dr. Subramanyam Deivanayagam, Dr. Ahmed ElSawy, Dr. Ismail Fidan, Dr. Delbert Stone, Dr. Fred Vondra, Barry Allison, and Pauline Ward (Please list in Alphabetic order..Thanks) Did we miss anybody?

ABSENT: Gene Brooks, Greg Brummitt, Gerald Hale, Walter Marcum, Winston Massengale, Eric Meredith, Ratan Ray and Jason Smith

Opening Comments

The Chair of the MITAB Board, Mr. Chris Hetzler, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and expressing his appreciation to all the board members and guests for taking the time to attend. Mr. Hetzler turned the meeting over to Dr. ElSawy. He welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed his appreciation for attendance. Dr. ElSawy turned the meeting over to Dr. Bell.

Dr. Bell explained the first focus is on the innovations and changes that have been brought to Tech. Dr. Bell says that it will be a challenge for Tech to change as well as the state. Enrollment at Tech is at the highest. The projections for next year are even higher. Tech has become one of the top ten schools in the south. The enrollment is up due to the aggressive recruiting work of the Tech staff. Dr. Bell explained the State proposed Downsizing Our Government Services (DOGS) budget. What this does to Tennessee Tech is that 9.6 percent across the board cut. 3.7 million dollars from each unit will have some impact on. An additional 3.8 million dollars targeted specifically at the College of Engineering. All Centers of Excellence will lose state funding. The DOGS budget has potential in becoming devastating to Tennessee Tech and the College of Engineering. Along with the first cut this can become even more devastating. The first cut eliminates 55 positions and 18% of state colleges will get hit the hardest with this new DOGS budget.

Dr. Barker said that he has been at Tech for 12 years and have always fought for the budget. He said there would be more and more courses taught online. Dr. Barker said that the faculty suggested teaching non-credit courses online. Handouts were distributed concerning ehorizon. These courses pay more and serve more of the students.

MIT Vision and New Degree Programs

Dr. ElSawy mentioned that the non-traditional students prefer the online courses. The department is already teaching some courses online. The department is working to increase the number of courses online. These courses will increase the enrollment and also reach more students. A PLC Seminar workshop will be offered this spring. Dr. ElSawy said that the department is trying to reduce the degree from 134 to 120 hours and take the 34 hours to enable students to receive a Masters degree. The MS in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies is still in the planning stages. The department is currently at 128 hours. MIT 4010 and ECON 2020 were changed from required courses into elective courses.

Dr. Stone thanked everyone for purchasing the T-shirts supporting the moon buggy club. Dr. Stone invited Channel 4 news to publicize the moon buggy competition. The competition starts at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow in Huntsville, Alabama. The pits are open to visitors. The course is approximately ½ mile long. Schools are allowed to have two entries.

Certification Programs

Dr. Stone mentioned that he will be attending the AWS Welding Certification training to get certified as AWS certification instructor. Also, the department will pursue AWS accreditation on the welding facility to be used to teach AWS certification courses. Dr. Stone is planning to conduct certification seminar courses in various welding techniques and inspection in the near future. This will serve the state needs for AWS certification and bring in funds for the department.

NAIT Certification is given every semester and our students rank higher than national average. Dr. Fidan has been in charge of the SME student chapter at Tennessee Tech for the past 1½ years. Dr. Fidan encouraged everyone to look at the SME web site. The test for SME certification for technologist costs $95 for each student which is not affordable for most of our students. He is trying to obtain funds to assist the student's with the certification costs.

Introduction of New MITAB Members

Mr. Chris Hetzler told the board that Gene Brooks was not able to attend the meeting. Mr. Hetzler introduced Mr. Michael Rayburn who is replacing Mr. Chuck White. Mr. Rayburn has worked for General Motors for 27 years. He is currently Manufacturing Engineering and Maintenance Manager since 1997 for Saturn Corporation. Mr. Hetzler introduced Mr. James Max Whatley to the advisory board. Mr. Whatley has been retired for two years. He worked for Lockheed Martin for 31 years and he was a staff engineer before retiring. James graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1967 with a BS in Industrial Technology.

MITAB Scholarship Recipient

Mr. Hetzler mentioned to the advisory board that the Spring 2001 MIT Scholarship recipient, Eric Schuler, was not able to attend the meeting. Eric asked Mr. Hetzler to express his appreciation and gratitude to the advisory board.

Approval of Minutes

The Board reviewed the Fall 2001 minutes and a motion was made to approve the minutes as presented. Motion passed. Mr. Hetzler proposed that the members that have not attended a meeting in two years and have not had any correspondence with the department would be removed from the advisory board. The bylaws will be amended and sent to the members prior to the meeting. The board will vote on the updated bylaws.

2 + 2 Programs with Community Colleges

Dr. ElSawy told the board that he has been working with community colleges to implement the 2 + 2 program. The department only has 3½ faculty, 1 secretary and 1 technician. He is asking that everyone look over the handouts and give him their input on the 2 + 2 degrees. A student could take classes at the community college, classes web based and the last few classes at Tech. With the increase in fees at universities, the 2 + 2 programs with community colleges are more appealing to students.

MIT Enrollment and Recruitment/Retention Efforts

Dr. Loutzenheiser distributed an enrollment chart. The chart shows that the MIT student enrollment is increasing slightly since 1997. Dr. Loutzenheiser said that 70% to 80% of transfer students graduate while 50% of students starting as freshmen graduate. The Admissions office goes out to different schools distributing literature about Tech. The university has more people applying for admission than in the past. Advisement is being improved to help the students with their schedules. The university is trying to develop more help study sessions for the students. Getting the students through the first year is the most difficult. The downside is fees are going up; lab fees are going to be charged and additional fees to engineering students. If the students bring their parents with them to tour the campus the university has a better chance of retaining the student.

Fund Raiser for Labs and Scholarship Committee Report

Mr. Lem McSpadden, chair of the Fund Raising Committee, reported to the advisory board that he and three other members have been working on a letter to send out to the alums. There are 1600+ alums but some are showing up under Industrial Arts and they are in the process of getting that list of name from Ms. Tolbert's office. The cards that will be sent out can be printed. The cards will need to specify donation to the MIT department. The letter will also have the name change included and a list of advisory board members along with the department's web site. The letter will be held to one page showing the department logo. The committee is going to try to solicit $10 from each alum for each year they have been out of college. The donors are being asked to support scholarships and endowments. The committee is trying to find a way to pay for postage and printing charges. This is a start in the right direction. The committee will continue working on the letter.

Schedule Fall Meeting

The fall meeting is scheduled for October 4, 2002. Meeting adjourned at 4:08


Pauline Ward

Experience Tech For Yourself

Visit us to see what sets us apart.

Schedule Your Visit
Manufacturing and Engineering Technology
Contact Us