Thursday, April 7, 2005
Board of Trustees approves new IT major
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
As of the fall 2005 semester, OU students can begin working toward a bachelor’s degree in information technology through the School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS). The Board of Trustees approved the new bachelor’s degree at its April 6 formal meeting.
The new major will prepare students with technical strength and comprehensive understanding of information technology so they can act as problem solvers in various settings. It also will combat the effects of recent increases in global outsourcing and teach skills that are vital in health care and environmental industries, areas where work can’t be outsourced, according to Pieter Frick, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
“We see this as an effective counter to bring the lost information technology position back to our shores,” Frick said.
The IT major was something that showed the largest potential, according to studies conducted by the university, and SECS already has received a lot of inquiries from future students about the new major.
Every student will be required to complete an industry internship, industry-sponsored project or undergraduate research. The program also includes a professional component to develop skills in technical communication, ethics, group work and skill sets that are deemed important by employers.
Backed by numerous letters of support for IT professionals, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering explained to the board during the March working session that the demand for skilled, professional IT workers will increase in the coming years and it’s beneficial for OU to offer the program.
"This new degree program is consistent with contemporary advancements in business and technology. It will empower our students to more effectively launch careers in business and technology sectors,” said Virinder Moudgil, vice president of Academic Affairs and provost. “I am pleased the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences has taken this timely initiative to serve our students and community.”
In other board action:
- Michael Sevilla, professor of chemistry, was approved to the rank of distinguished professor.
- Jonathan Silberman was appointed dean of the School of Business Administration. He will begin his new job June 1.
- John Beaghan was appointed vice president for Finance and Administration and treasurer to the Board of Trustees. He will begin his new job April 12.
- The contract with Chartwells’ was extended seven years in exchange for $1.3 million in upgrades to be completed to Vandenberg Dining Center, the replacement of some dining options in the Pioneer Food Court in 2006, and advanced payment on revenues.
- The board approved the request by Katke-Cousins Golf Course to construct a new bridge in place of a temporary bridge in place since the previous one was washed out last May.
- Marts and Lundy was approved as the counsel to advise the university through the upcoming public phase of the capital campaign.
The next Board of Trustees meeting, a working session, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, at 2 p.m. in Elliott Hall Auditorium. For more information, visit the Board of Trustees Web site.