Board of Trustees Approves New Degree Programs

Michigan Tech campus, including husky statue, at dawn
Michigan Tech campus, including husky statue, at dawn
Michigan Technological University’s Board of Trustees approved new degree programs in mechatronics, cybersecurity and engineering management.

Michigan Technological University’s Board of Trustees approved three new degree programs at its regular meeting in Houghton on May 3, 2019.

A master of science in mechatronics, a master’s in engineering management and a bachelor of science in cybersecurity have been added to the Michigan Tech curriculum.

Mechatronics integrates electrical and mechanical engineering, robotics, software and computational hardware in the design of products and processes. The degree program is intended to meet the demand for applied researchers and entrepreneurs in advanced manufacturing and automation. Classes will equip students with advanced technical competencies, enabling them to engage in interdisciplinary research and industry applications.

The master’s in engineering management is a hybrid technical/business degree program that focuses on managerial knowledge, business literacy and other relevant skills for various engineering- and technology-intensive industries.

The new undergraduate degree in cybersecurity will provide students with technical cybersecurity skills and knowledge, as well as a theoretical foundation and understanding of the social, ethical, legal and policy aspects of cybersecurity.

“Each of these new programs will help Michigan Tech better serve our students and the state of Michigan by offering options that align with projected market sector growth during the 21st century,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Michigan Tech has a long history of preparing students to ‘hit the ground running,’ and these new majors will build on that tradition while at the same time moving us into areas that we have not fully emphasized in the past.”

After approving the new degree programs, the Board moved on to financial matters. The University’s general operating fund budget for fiscal year 2020 will be $217 million, a $3.5 million increase over fiscal year 2019. The Board authorized the University administration to revise the budget to reflect any changes in state appropriations or tuition cap while maintaining a balanced budget. Fiscal year 2020 begins on July 1, 2019.

Included in the budget is a 2% increase in tuition and fees for undergraduate in-state students, below the state senate's proposed 4.4% tuition cap to in-state undergraduates. Also included is a 4.4% tuition increase for undergraduate non-residents and a 6% increase for graduate tuition. The budget increases financial aid for students by 3 percent, and the room and board rate increased by 2.3%.

In other business, the Board:

  • Elected Brenda Ryan and Bill Johnson as chair and vice chair, respectively, for fiscal year 2020
  • Appointed Susan Kerry as treasurer, effective June 1, 2019
  • Recognized Sheri Thomas for 35 years of service to the University
  • Approved the granting of professor emeritus rank to John Beard (mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics), David Hand (civil and environmental engineering) and David Nitz (physics)
  • Approved the candidates for tenure and promotion
  • Approved revisions to the Board policy on faculty definitions
  • Approved a Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology in the College of Engineering

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.