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Dean's Update - August 2011

School of Computing and Software Engineering
Southern Polytechnic State University
Dean's Update August 2011


On August 17, SPSU started its fall semester.  As have been the case over the last few years, SPSU again saw a significant increase in enrollment (overall up 4% over fall 2011).  However, the enrollment growth in CSE has been nothing short of spectacular. CSE now has 1,316 degree and certificate students, up from 1,116 a year ago. While we have seen growth in most of our programs, the program with the largest gains are the MS programs in Information Technology (now the largest graduate program at SPSU), the MS in Software Engineering (which grew by almost 50%), the BAS in Information Technology and the BS in Computer Game Design and Development.  Clearly, these enrollment numbers are a good omen when it comes to our first strategic goal, namely to increase the number of CSE graduates who are well prepared 
for work and life to better serve the community.  I want to thank all who have worked so hard to achieve this tremendous enrollment growth and all the CSE faculty who have shown remarkable flexibility as we struggled to accommodate all the students.  At the same time, while increasing our recruitment is a positive development, we need to work even harder to make sure that we retain our students and help them graduate.


As part of our efforts to improve retention, CSE will be hosting a welcome back party for its students on September 13.  There is plenty of evidence that students who are more engaged with their institution are more likely to be academically successful, and events such as these, in addition to being fun, are one way of improving levels of engagement.  At the same time, we cannot use any state funds for social events, and I would of course welcome it if you or your company would be willing to sponsor the event.  If you are, please get in touch with me at or on 678-915-7399


From September 23 to September 25, SPSU will again be the site for a game jam.  As you will recall, game jams are 48 hour events in which students work in teams to develop games, either computer games or board games.  There is a video which captures the& spirit of the internal game jam that was held earlier this year here.

Thanks go to Jon Preston and Jeff Chastine for making this happen and to the many, many volunteers who work with Jon and Jeff to make all this posible.  Again, Jon has identified some sponsors but, as always, he is looking for more.  If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Jon at or on 678-915-4982.  You can of course also contact me.


Dr Becky Rutherfoord of the Department of Information Technology was recently appointed to the new position of Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness.  This is a half-time administrative position in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr Rutherfoord will fortunately remain as a professor in IT for the other half.  

Dr Zvi Safran, SPSU's Vice President for Academic Affairs, created the new position partly in reaction to the increasing emphasis at the federal, state, accreditation agency, and Board of Regents level for greater accountability from universities, in particular when it comes to providing evidence that our students actually learn what we would like them to learn.  Dr Rutherfoord is an expert in assessment, and took the leadership role in SPSU's recent successful SACS reaffirmation.  This appointment recognizes the critical work that Dr Rutherfoord has been doing and ensures that she will be able to continue to do so into the future.

Clearly, this new appointment will be a loss to the Department of Information Technology and to CSE.  On the other hand, I have no doubt that SPSU as a whole will benefit greatly and I hope you will join me in congratulating Dr Rutherfoord.


If you see something in this update that you want to comment on, please send me an email at or call me on 678-915-7399 . Also, if you know of somebody who might be interested in receiving the Dean's updates, please ask them to send me an email. We will gladly add them to our mailing list. Finally, if you prefer not to receive the Dean's updates, please let me know as well.

Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering