This Program Description and Charter consolidate into one document the essential academic and programmatic characteristics of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Systems Engineering. A charter became necessary due to the administrative and fiscal shift of the program from the Office of the Dean of Engineering to the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) beginning with Academic Year 1995-96.
The administrative and fiscal shift of Systems Engineering (SE) to ISE will not have a detrimental effect on the time-tested academic structure and programmatic character of Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Its academic intent and program characteristics will continue to be guided by the Systems Engineering Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the College of Engineering. However, ISE has full administrative and fiscal responsibility for all resources necessary for program support (space, purchasing, travel, support staff, etc.). Admittedly, there may be some issues that will not fall nicely into either the administrative/fiscal or the academic/programmatic domains. Additionally, an appropriate balance must be maintained between support resources and program needs.
The Systems Engineering Graduate Program will continue to be a product of the College of Engineering acting as an entity, with each participating department playing an appropriate role. Systems Engineering is offered in accordance with a paradigm that has finally attracted widespread attention internationally. Virginia Tech is in the lead and is often used as an example of what could occur in colleges of engineering elsewhere. Accordingly, for the record and as a benchmark for considering suggested improvements, this document summarizes the inherent nature and administration of the Systems Engineering graduate program.