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Watson faculty productivity contributes to high graduation rate

A report by the Engineering Workforce Commission of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), comparing 300 engineering schools in the nation, ranks the Watson School 32nd for the number of degrees awarded in the Systems area, 38th for the number of degrees awarded in Industrial Engineering and 56th for the number of degrees awarded in the computer area.

While the 2004 rankings don’t speak to the quality of the school’s program, they are an indication of how the Watson School’s reputation will grow as its graduates start work in their fields.

“We’re producing students in large enough numbers that they are going to be noticed by employers and graduate schools,” said Charles R. Westgate, dean of the Watson School.

Compared to other New York private and public universities, Watson is ranked ninth in the total number of degrees awarded — ahead of 13 other colleges and universities in the state that offer engineering degrees.

The rankings also underscore the high productivity level of the Watson School’s tenure track faculty members, Westgate said. In many cases, the school is preparing more students for graduation with fewer faculty members than other schools. A 2003 report comparing the ratio of tenure-track faculty and degrees granted at engineering schools shows that Watson, with 50 tenure-track faculty members, helped students earn 375 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. At Cal Tech, 97 tenure-track faculty members helped prepare 277 students for graduation; at Rice, 97 tenure-track faculty members helped prepare 312 students; and at Duke, 82 tenure-track faculty members helped prepare 311 students for graduation.

“We produce more degrees than Cal Tech with half the faculty,” Westgate said. “We produce more degrees than Duke with 60 percent of the faculty.” It is a trend he expects to continue.

“When we graduate our first bioengineering class next year, I am confident that we will be ranked there as well,” he said.

The school, which has enjoyed steady enrollment growth, is not as large as some of its competitors, but the faculty and staff continue to provide a high quality education to its students.

“On the national scale, we are below the national average in terms of the number of faculty, but well above average in productivity,” Westgate said.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08