PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo APRIL 2006 - VOLUME 15, NUMBER 8
The Right Skill Sets

Frank L HubandThis month’s cover story, “All the Right Moves,” explores the fact that engineering deans are increasingly becoming provosts. In the past five years, more than a half dozen engineering deans have taken a seat behind the provost’s desk. Some expect such transitions to increase as the country places a stronger emphasis on mathematics, science and technology. Engineering deans-turned-provosts say that their experience leading engineering colleges is helping them to problem solve and juggle the tasks of running their universities. David Ashley, provost at the University of California, Merced, is working hard to get the newest UC-system school running smoothly. At the University of Maryland, Bill Destler is managing a $1.2 billion budget while working to best meet the needs and expectations of all the varied disciplines on campus. Be sure to take a look and see what the other provosts are up to now and where they all could be headed next.

Whether it’s just from across the campus or perhaps across the world, distance education is booming. “The Long and Short of It” explores why students, professionals and universities are embracing this manner of education more than ever. Colleges and universities have come up with new technologies to further improve distance education with innovative solutions like eTEACH, a software package that includes streaming video of a professor’s lecture, slides, a table of contents and relevant Web links.

As New Orleans and the Gulf region continue to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, turn to “Shaky Ground” to read about one of the engineers trying to make sure a similar disaster doesn’t unfold the same way again in the future. University of Hawaii, Manoa engineering professor Peter Nicholson headed a team of engineers from academia and industry into the Gulf region only a month after the hurricane hit in an effort to figure out what went wrong. The team hurried to investigate before all the evidence disappeared, working hard to discover why the levees had failed as they did. Nicholson says truly understanding what happened there will take a long time, but he cautions us to recognize the disaster as an alarm for the perilous state of infrastructure in the rest of the nation.

You’ll also notice that the ASEE Annual Report is included along with this month’s issue of Prism. Along with a letter from President Ron Barr and one from me, the report tells you what we’ve accomplished in the past year at ASEE. It is my hope that you’ll find these stories interesting and the annual report informative. We’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you might have, so please drop us an e-mail at

Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher



ALL THE RIGHT MOVES - By Alvin P. Sanoff
SHAKY GROUND - By Pierre Home-Douglas
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ALL THINGS GREAT AND SMALL - Universities are starting to establish programs to teach nanotechnology to children. But there’s controversy over how to present the information. - By Margaret Loftus
RESEARCH: Setting the Right Course - By Douglas M. Green
ON CAMPUS: A Winning Idea - By Lynne Shallcross
LAST WORD: Opening More Books - By Jill Powell


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