UNC Board of Governors approves School of Technology at Western

CULLOWHEE – The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has approved a restructuring of the department of engineering and technology at Western Carolina University, which will now be known as the School of Technology.

Located within Western’s College of Applied Sciences, the School of Technology consists of undergraduate programs in construction management, electrical and computer engineering technology, electrical engineering, engineering technology and telecommunications engineering technology. The school also offers a graduate program in technology and an online program leading to the master’s degree in construction management.

“Over the past three years, this department has experienced significant enrollment growth, secured millions of dollars in federal funding and expanded its departmental mission by engaging with businesses and industries across the region to assist in economic development,” Western Provost Kyle Carter said.

Among the school’s newest academic offerings is a degree program in electrical engineering. Western and its partners at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte began offering electrical engineering as a joint degree program last fall.

“The department also has played a pivotal role in the university’s efforts to assist the region with economic development through its Center for Integrated Technology, Center for Rapid Prototyping and Center for Adaptive Devices,” Carter said. “This organizational move will enable it to continue its work in that important area.”

Restructuring from a department into a school will enable academic programs to evolve into full-fledged departments as the school’s infrastructure increases, said Duane Dunlap, head of the department. “For example, the construction management and engineering technology programs have been some of the fastest-growing programs at Western,” Dunlap said.

The change also is designed to result in improvements in visibility to external constituents, enhanced flexibility and efficiency of operations, increased coordination of university efforts to provide outreach assistance to the region, and development of opportunities for new academic programs and collaborative interdisciplinary majors that may cross traditional departmental lines, he said.

For information on the School of Technology, contact Duane Dunlap at (828) 227-2159.