Quantitative Metrics

Average ACT Scores of Freshmen, 2013

TARGETS: Math 26, English 26, Composite 26

These are based on the following 10-year history for the College of Sciences & Arts (fall semesters).

  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Math 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26
English 24 24 24 24 25 24 25 24 25 25
Composite 25 25 26 26 26 26 26 25 26 26

In fall 2009, CSA met the goal set in 2007 for 2011-12. The primary change proposed during the next period of the Strategic Plan is to encourage efforts to increase the English scores for entering students.

PhD Graduates, 2013

TARGETS: Enrollment 225, Degrees awarded 20-23, Completion ratio 1/8

PhDs 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008-09
Enrolled 116 124 128 144 163 159 181 181 185 169
Awarded 21 9 16 10 19 14 13 23 23 16
Biological Sciences: 1 to 2 Chemistry: 3 to 4
Computer Science: 3 Humanities: 5
Mathematical Sciences: 3 Physics: 4 to 5
Social Sciences: 1    
Total: 20 to 23

Background from 2007 Update of Strategic Plan:

The ten-year average (1995 and 2005) was 15 with an average enrollment of 132. During 2004-05, enrollment averaged 180, justifying a projection of 22 Ph.D.s per year.

Most recent three year average: 21 degrees awarded; average enrollment 179; completion ratio ~1/9 (university completion ratio 1/7.5). CSA met the degrees awarded target set in 2007 for 2011-12, based on the established programs in HU, Math, and PHY, and improvement in Bio.

The updated projections assume only continued modest growth in the number of doctoral students enrolled in CSA because the doctoral programs in Chemistry, Physics, and Humanities are at capacity in terms of faculty time and space. Biological Sciences and Computer Sciences are in the process of strengthening their doctoral programs, and as new programs mature in Cognitive & Learning Sciences and Environmental Policy, CSA will see increases in the number of students enrolled, but increases in degrees awarded will not come until after 2013. The single greatest opportunity for expanding graduate education within CSA is the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program Exercise Science has been studying for three years. It would enroll 20-25 students in each year of a 3-year clinical program. Planning was halted in spring 2010 because of uncertainty about providing funds for the necessary space and new faculty. But every doctoral program faces the challenges of limited space and securing additional internal AND external funding for GTAs and GRAs.

Sponsored Program Awards, 2013

TARGETS: $6.4 million

Research 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
COMPENDIUM (2/15/10)          
Expenditures ($1000s) $3,239 $3,717 $4,092 $3,427 N/A
Proposals Funded 57 57 53 52 N/A
Awards ($1000s) $3,317 $3,309 $4,134 $4,081 $4,023
Proposals Funded 64 57 72 65 65

NOTE: Only PI contributions are considered here because university reports for Co-PIs list only total awards. While avoiding double-counting, this situation understates the contribution of CSA faculty to university research activity.

Annual research expenditures in CSA grew from about $2.3 million in 1996 to about $4 million in 2005, an increase of 71% or 8% annually. Increases occurred in CS (from $100,000 to $1,000,000), SS (from $44,000 to $350,000), and Physics (from $500,000 to $1,500,000), offsetting decline in Biological Sciences. This situation justified a 2007 projection of an increase of 10% to $6.4 million in sponsored programs awards by 2011-12. Research funding, however, has remained flat at about $4 million/year. But the surge of replacement and new faculty in 2009 and 2010, with an emphasis upon research fields, will result in increased support being secured by CSA. The updated target remains the same as that set in 2007, $6.4 million. The college has identified the support of graduate students as its primary goal for this funding and will monitor this metric as reliable data becomes available from the Graduate School.

Endowment, 2013

TARGETS: $50 million

Endowment ($1000s) 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
  $1,234 $1,286 $1,461 $1,605 $1,764

NOTE: The balance of all CSA funds in the Tech Fund balance on June 30, 2009 was $3.29 million.

CSA: The Foundation for Success

Building endowment is a priority for CSA in the current capital campaign. CSA proposes that fundraising efforts be built around the CSA’s position as the foundation for the success of all of Tech’s graduates. That foundation includes educational course work in the science, math, communications, and general education fields upon which all majors at Michigan Tech depend for future success. That foundation also includes the underlying scientific research upon from which future technologies emerge and the studies of the complex social, cultural and humanistic dimensions of contemporary science and technology.

The updated campaign statement submitted in February 2010 identified the following targets for endowments to support CSA:

8 Endowed Chairs $16,000,000
8 Endowed Professorships $8,000,000
1 Faculty Line $1,500,000
1 General Faculty Endowment $2,000,000
Undergraduate Scholarships $6,950,000
Graduate Fellowships $6,700,000
Program Endowments $9,870,000
Modern Space & Buildings $21,355,000
Immediate Needs $2,100,000
Endowment Total: $71,375,000

Qualitative Metrics

The following points represent distinguishing characteristics of the activities of the College of Sciences and Arts.

Creating the whole person

The College and all of its units are united by the traditional goal of the liberal arts to educate rather than to train. Other classic elements include encouraging critical thinking, requiring students to learn how to communicate and to express themselves creatively, developing an awareness of the wider world within which we live, and an appreciation of literature and the arts as well as the sciences. There is much more to it, of course, but the point is that CSA is committed to providing students with the tools that will enable them to keep learning long after their college days are finished. Many commentators suggest that this process requires educating the whole person—not just the specialist, the professional, or the expert. As noted in a recent commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “The real education for the whole person remains where it always was—in a rigorous liberal-arts education.”1 At Michigan Tech, delivering such an education is the primary task of the faculty in the College of Sciences and Arts.


A commitment to diversity runs through every aspect of the strategic plan of the College, whether defined in terms of gender, under-represented minorities, or international students and faculty. But in addition, CSA stands for diversity of thought and ideas, thereby embracing the free exchange of diverse opinions in a respectful attitude for difference.


This concept is the central pillar of the CSA strategy for growing education and research programs. Recognizing that our size will not allow the pursuit of every worthy idea worth investigating, the college’s faculty will explore topics subject to consideration by experts from more than one traditional academic discipline. Research in such large topics as health, environmental sustainability, and nanoscale science and engineering obviously merit such a designation, but those pursuing studies in technical communication, technical theatre, environmental history and many other fields also adopt an explicitly interdisciplinary stance. Importantly, most programs prepare students with a strong disciplinary knowledge base as the best platform from which they can ask interrelated questions as members of interdisciplinary teams.


Environmental sustainability provides the anchoring concept to the many environmental education and research programs supported by the faculty of the College. As the CSA and department plans make clear, nearly every department is engaged in activities that support the formation of patterns of sustainable development and the utilization f natural resources. This is one of the two main priorities for the development of education and research activities in CSA.


For more than two decades, national attention has been devoted to improving the educational base of the country in the sciences, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM), and more importantly to attracting a fully diverse student population to these areas of study. CSA is perfectly positioned to support these goals, for the banner “technological university” unites the efforts of all faculty. Most of us came here knowing and expecting that at least part of our responsibilities was to help educate the next generations of scientists and engineers. But it is important to realize that our commitment to STEM embodies fully the comments made above with regard to educating the whole person, rather than preparing narrowly-trained specialists.

1. Peter Woods, “’Whole Person' Approach Belongs to the Liberal Arts,” Chronicle of Higher Education (August 25, 2008):