Contents
Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 94

Recommendation 94
Department Chemistry
Consensus Opinion 25 out of 25 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Faculty of the Chemistry Department unanimously agree that the current P&R process lacks sufficient justification, is based upon faulty or incomplete data, promotes a highly personal administrative agenda, and summarily disregards the university community's duty of shared governance


The Computer Science Department disagrees with the Prioritization and Recovery (P&R) committee’s proposed merge/discontinue recommendation for our Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) Program. We request stable funding based upon the justification presented below.

The MSCS increased its program size after an abnormal two year decline. The number of students entered has increased 58%  from 12 in 05-06 to 19 in 06-07. We currently have 54 active graduate students. 62 students graduated during the 2002-2007 academic years  a 148% increase compared with the five preceding years. Our MSCS program is strong and steady in both the number of students enrolled and the number of students graduated.

Year 97-98 98-99 99-00 00-01 01-02 02-03 03-04 04-05 05-06 06-07
Average enrollment 30 37 40 33 44 52 65 63 42 36
# entered 15 19 22 14 28 35 34 22 12 19
# graduated 5 5 6 5 4 12 8 17 14 11

We have a high quality MSCS program. In fact, we are one of the first five graduate programs at Cal Poly to have completed and submitted an assessment plan to the Graduate Studies Office. Additionally, we regularly meet with our CS advisory board to discuss our program quality  the advisory board consists of industry and alumni representatives. These efforts help ensure continual program improvement.

Our success in obtaining external funding has increased over the last five years. These efforts have helped support both graduate and undergraduate research and scholarly activities and have assisted faculty members to successfully publish their findings. We actively recruit faculty members who have specific research agendas. Additionally, we work with The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to explore external funding opportunities. We believe our external funding will continue to increase.

We recommend the “total number of degrees granted” and the “cost per degree” be considered when calculating MSCS program cost. We do not believe that cost per WTU and per FTES completes the picture. Additionally, these costs should be compared with CS programs at like institutions. We are exploring a “project” option for students who wish to perform applied computing research. This would increase the graduate class size and ultimately lower program cost  an external survey and our advisory board will help determine the desirability of this option.

We disagree with the proposed merge recommendation. The Electrical Engineering Graduate Program (with Computer Engineering option) is the only other computing related program. However, our MSCS program emphasizes systems infrastructure, software methods, and application technologies while the MSEE program emphasizes computer hardware and architecture.

Computer Science is a fast growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for IT professionals will grow nearly 50% by 2012. Our MSCS program not only enhances our undergraduate curriculum, but also supports faculty recruitment and retention. Our mission is to equip students to successfully participate in California’s IT sector. Discontinuing the MSCS program would lower Cal Poly’s prestige in industry and academia and make recruiting talented researchers difficult.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 94
Department Computer Science
Consensus Opinion 11 out of 12 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Computer Science Department disagrees with the Prioritization and Recovery (P&R) committee’s proposed merge/discontinue recommendation for our Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) Program. We request stable funding based upon the justification presented below.

The MSCS increased its program size after an abnormal two year decline. The number of students entered has increased 58%  from 12 in 05-06 to 19 in 06-07. We currently have 54 active graduate students. 62 students graduated during the 2002-2007 academic years  a 148% increase compared with the five preceding years. Our MSCS program is strong and steady in both the number of students enrolled and the number of students graduated.

Year 97-98 98-99 99-00 00-01 01-02 02-03 03-04 04-05 05-06 06-07
Average enrollment 30 37 40 33 44 52 65 63 42 36
# entered 15 19 22 14 28 35 34 22 12 19
# graduated 5 5 6 5 4 12 8 17 14 11

We have a high quality MSCS program. In fact, we are one of the first five graduate programs at Cal Poly to have completed and submitted an assessment plan to the Graduate Studies Office. Additionally, we regularly meet with our CS advisory board to discuss our program quality  the advisory board consists of industry and alumni representatives. These efforts help ensure continual program improvement.

Our success in obtaining external funding has increased over the last five years. These efforts have helped support both graduate and undergraduate research and scholarly activities and have assisted faculty members to successfully publish their findings. We actively recruit faculty members who have specific research agendas. Additionally, we work with The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to explore external funding opportunities. We believe our external funding will continue to increase.

We recommend the “total number of degrees granted” and the “cost per degree” be considered when calculating MSCS program cost. We do not believe that cost per WTU and per FTES completes the picture. Additionally, these costs should be compared with CS programs at like institutions. We are exploring a “project” option for students who wish to perform applied computing research. This would increase the graduate class size and ultimately lower program cost  an external survey and our advisory board will help determine the desirability of this option.

We disagree with the proposed merge recommendation. The Electrical Engineering Graduate Program (with Computer Engineering option) is the only other computing related program. However, our MSCS program emphasizes systems infrastructure, software methods, and application technologies while the MSEE program emphasizes computer hardware and architecture.

Computer Science is a fast growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for IT professionals will grow nearly 50% by 2012. Our MSCS program not only enhances our undergraduate curriculum, but also supports faculty recruitment and retention. Our mission is to equip students to successfully participate in California’s IT sector. Discontinuing the MSCS program would lower Cal Poly’s prestige in industry and academia and make recruiting talented researchers difficult.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 94
Department Executive Graduate Council
Consensus Opinion 8 out of 8 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Executive Graduate Council opposes recommendation #94 from the Academic Programs P&R to discontinue the graduate program in Computer Science.

It would be very unusual for Cal Poly Pomona to not offer this program which is offered on 14 other CSU campuses. The growth in demand for trained graduates in computer science is likely to grow in the coming years and if we were to discontinue the program at this time we would regret it in the future. It takes a great deal of time and energy to obtain permission to start a new graduate program and it makes more sense to give all of our existing graduate programs some time to grow and improve before we discontinue any of them, especially one like computer science that is so central to one of the major growth sectors in the California economy.

While it is true that the data available to the P&R committee showed a decline in enrollment for two years, examination of enrollment data for the last ten years shows that there was an anomalous increase in enrollment between 2002-03 and 2004-05. The decline that concerned the P&R committee was a recovery from that unusual spike and in 2006-07 the enrollment returned to the levels seen in the five years prior to 2002-03. Disregarding the unusual three year spike, enrollment in the program has been relatively stable. During the 2006-07 academic year a total of 16 new students enrolled in the CS graduate program, their average undergraduate GPA was 3.2 (slightly higher than the university average of 3.17 and tenth among the 22 graduate programs) and 11 of them had GPAs greater than 3.0. This, obviously, is not a graduate program that is weak or collapsing!

There is considerable potential for growth of research in the Department of Computer Science and the presence of a graduate program will contribute to this growth by helping recruit new research-active faculty and providing graduate students to help with this research. Several recently-hired faculty in the Computer Science Department have already obtained external funding for their research. The retention of these faculty, and hiring of research-active faculty in the future will be enhanced by the presence of this graduate program.

The University needs to grow its graduate programs and discontinuing a promising young graduate program will be counter-productive. Graduate students currently comprise only 5.8% of the students at Cal Poly Pomona. This is well below the CSU system median for the 2005-06 AY of 12%, with our campus ranking 18th out of the 21 campuses that have graduate programs.



Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 94
Department GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Consensus Opinion 8 out of 12 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Geological Sciences Department opposes P&R recommendation #94: to merge / discontinue the MS in Computer Science (MSCS). This recommendation is contrary to a desire at CPP to promote and expand the numbers of MS programs and MS students. Masters programs are vital to faculty professional productivity and have been linked to quality undergraduate experiences. There is a demand for well educated, highly trained computer scientists. CPP must retain its stature as a regional center for advanced degrees; especially in this critical area. Computer Science must be a program of choice at a polytechnic institution in California. Dilution or loss of a viable, active, engaged CS graduate program is contrary to these local and regional needs.

There is no other extant CPP MS program with similar function or focus. Where as CS emphasizes software development, systems infrastructure and software applications, the Electrical Engineering MS option emphasizes hardware and computer design. These are distinctly different realms of investigation. A merger would not promote further synergy between these disparate areas of computer technology.

The CS department uses its MS program to attract new, top notch faculty with productive cutting-edge research activities. The quality of the masters program as evidenced by such attributes as -- assessment protocol in place, increased external funding and publication record -- are positive indicators for continued success, attracting quality faculty and growth of the CS graduate program.

The above cited positive attributes suggest that it is not prudent to alter the course that the CS graduate program is now on. It should also be realized that the recent impaction of the undergraduate program may now, to a degree, be rippling through the MSCS program. To the extent that the undergraduate program produces graduates for its MS program a transient decline in MS students may now be evident. Notoriety of undergraduate impaction may, by association, have a temporary negative impact on applications to MS programs.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendations not submitted through the forms are available in this folder. They mainly consist of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat documents. If none were submitted for this recommendation, the folder will be empty.