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November 2013

CONSOLIDATION OF SPSU AND KSU

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has just announced that Kennesaw State University and SPSU will consolidate. The press release is at http://www.usg.edu/news/release/kennesaw_state_and_southern_polytechnic_will_consolidate.

Most of the details are still being worked out, but here is what we know as of now:
- The new institution will be known as Kennesaw State University.
- Dan Papp, the KSU president, will be the president of the new Kennesaw State.
- The plan is to have a prospectus ready for SACS Commission of Colleges, our regional accreditation agency, by December 2014, and to start enrolling students in the new Kennesaw State in fall 2015. In other words, SPSU will cease to exist by then.

The first step was for the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia to consult with the presidents of KSU and SPSU to create a consolidation team.  The consolidation team has been appointed.  You can see the names of the members of the team at/newsroom/news/Consolidation_Implementation_Committee_appointed.htm.

You will notice that Dr Jon Preston, the coordinator of our Computer Game Design and Development program and a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, is a member of the team.  

Finally, although the transition team will help alleviate some of the uncertainty that the announcement of the consolidation has generated, a lot of uncertainty remains. There are obvious threats in this consolidation to the School of Computing and Software Engineering, but I also believe that the consolidation will provide us with many opportunities to further strengthen and grow our programs and to ensure that we further increase the number of graduates in computing who are well prepared for work and life.  Moreover, with Dr Jon Preston being a member of the transition team, I have no doubt that the interests of computing will be well represented.  Jon deserves both our congratulations for his appointment and commiserations because of the amount of work he will have to take on as member of the consolidation team.


COMMENCEMENT

On December 14, SPSU will hold its 108th commencement.  We are expecting to graduate almost 400 students, including around 100 from CSE.  Scott M. Frank, president and CEO of AT&T Intellectual Property, will deliver the commencement address.

As has become customary, CSE will again host a reception for its graduating students and their friends and family on the Friday before graduation.  We will also use this occasion to ask our graduates to take the Pledge of the Computing Professional (http://www.computing-professional.org/).


THESIS DEFENSE

On November 25, Nicklaus Rauch, a student in our MS program in Software Engineering, defended his Master’s Thesis, entitled “Software as an Educational Resource.”  The thesis describes  iSight, a game designed specifically for kindergarten students, and an experiment to determine if the computer-based game was better at teaching students than normal classroom activities. Preliminary results indicate that the computer-based game is just as effective, if not more effective, as a normal classroom activity. 
 
In addition to Nick, our congratulations are also due to his thesis committee, Dr Jon Preston, Dr Jeffrey Chastine, and Dr Chao Peng. 


CHANGES TO SWE IAB

One of the mechanisms that CSE uses to ensure that its programs continue to meet the needs of our various stakeholders is the use of Industry Advisory Boards (IAB).  IABs are composed of members of the profession and often represent organizations that hire our graduates.  CSE heavily relies on IABs for feedback on its current programs, and for possible future directions.

One of the stalwarts of the IAB for our Software Engineering programs has been Dr Lee George from Lockheed Martin.  Dr George is retiring and will be succeeded on the SWE IAB by Dr David Gross, also from Lockheed Martin.

I wanted to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Dr George for his service and to welcome Dr Gross to the board.


CSE STUDENT RECEIVES JACK KENT COOKE FOUNDATION UNDERGRADUATE TRANSFER SCHOLARSHIP

Manuel Ruiz, a junior computer science major, recently received the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.  Ruiz, who transferred to SPSU from Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga., was one of 73 community college students from across the country and only one of two in Georgia selected to receive the scholarship

This prestigious scholarship, which was established in 2000 through the will of prominent businessman and former Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, makes it possible for the top community college students from around the country to complete their bachelor’s degrees by transferring to a four-year college or university.

Competition for the scholarship, which is worth up to $30,000 per year for up to three years, is fierce and selection is based on academic excellence and financial need.  The fact that Manuel Ruiz was selected therefore reflects very well on his intellectual prowess, and he deserves our full congratulations.


HUNG APPOINTED ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF IJAMI

Dr CC Hung has been appointed as an associate editor for the International Journal and Applied Mathematics and Informatics (http://www.naun.org/cms.action?id=3064).  Dr Hung’s appointment reflects his growing reputation in the field of applied mathematics, algorithms theory, and computational complexity.

Dr Hung of course deserves our congratulations.

AND FINALLY ..

If you see something in this update that you want to comment on, please send me an email at hreichge@spsu.edu or call me on 678-915-7399. Also, if you know of someone 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. If you prefer not to receive the Dean's updates, please let me know as well.

Finally, you can also stay abreast of developments in CSE by subscribing to the Dean’s Blog at http://cseatspsu.wordpress.com

Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering

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