The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education at its meeting Thursday approved name changes that will affect one of the University of North Dakota’s oldest divisions:
- The School of Engineering and Mines will become the College of Engineering and Mines.
- The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering will become the School of Geology and Geological Engineering as a component within the College of Engineering and Mines.
Hesham El Rewini, professor and dean of the College of Engineering and Mines, said the changes reflect the dynamic growth of UND’s engineering programs over the last five years and its expanding role in helping the state deal with its energy industry boom.
“Enrollment is reaching a record high of close to 1500 students, which represents more than 40 percent increase since 2008,” said El Rewini, who joined UND that year. “We offer 24 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels; three new degree programs were added in the last three years. Our annual research expenditure has doubled to more than $7 million in the last four years.”
“This change will give us the opportunity to position additional schools under the college umbrella, with additional options of placing future programs within those schools,” said El Rewini, a computer science engineer and the author of a well-known computer engineering text. “The change will also provide additional naming opportunities for donors who may wish to endow an entire school, in contrast to a department, center or institute.”
The state’s energy boom is a key factor in the name change.
“At this critical time in North Dakota’s history with the oil boom in the western part of the state, it is important that Geology and Geological Engineering (GGE) play a bigger role in the education of its students that will have great roles in the development and use of the state’s resources,” said El Rewini. “The newly renamed School of Geology and Geological Engineering within the College will create a higher profile for the great opportunities provided by the coexistence of a science program—geology—and an engineering program—geological Engineering—under one umbrella.”
El Rewini said that highlighting the College’s geology and geological engineering programs as a school will promote broader interest and recognition essential to attracting high-quality faculty and the best students.
“The new school also will help attract more donors who can contribute to the acquisition of advanced equipment, student scholarships, student experience fund and faculty development,” El Rewini said.
The name changes are effective immediately. El Rewini is set to appoint a team of faculty and staff to coordinate the necessary changes as we transition to the new names.
Juan Miguel Pedraza writer/editor
UND Office of University Relations
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