Where do we come from, and where are we going? Both of these questions are ones that we rarely stop and ask ourselves, but they are nonetheless important ones worth meditating on. I often laud our momentum and upward trajectory, but the weight that these statements carry is largely arbitrary. We can't truly appreciate what we've accomplished unless we measure it against the starting point.
The Cullen College of Engineering has transformed tremendously over the years. Since its founding in 1941, the college has grown from a humble 400 students to more than 4,000. Our facilities have expanded to cover one of the largest footprints on the UH campus. We've embarked on exciting new ventures locally with Houston Community College, and now internationally, with our most recent partnership with Dalian Maritime University in China. And perhaps, one of my greatest points of pride, is the enormous strides we have made with regard to diversity, equity and inclusiveness. The Cullen College of Engineering is now recognized as one of the most diverse institutions in the nation, according to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
Looking back through my last 13 years as Dean, our list of accomplishments is quite remarkable, especially when you consider all of the challenges we've had to overcome. In the last decade alone, our ranking has increased from no. 81 to 66 on U.S. News and World Report's engineering graduate programs listings. Shifting perception is not easily done - it takes a great deal of time and resources to build a long-lasting reputation, but nonetheless we have defied the odds and made great progress in these efforts. Now that we have cracked into the mid-60s, reaching our goal of becoming a Top 50 institution is beginning to come into view. We have many exciting new initiatives in the works to help propel us forward in this mission, and I look forward to sharing these plans with you all in the coming months. Together, we will continue to take the Cullen College to new heights.
But for now, I would like to commemorate what has made us so great — our students, faculty, alumni and administration. In this special issue of Parameters, we celebrate our 80 years of history, featuring stories from Cougar alumni, professors and students. We also reflect on the strategic moves we have made to propel our reputation over the last decade and discuss goals for the future.
I hope you enjoy reading through these stories celebrating our past, present and future. Cheers to another 80 years and beyond of excellence in research, innovation, entrepreneurship, student success and more!
Joseph W. Tedesco, Ph.D., P.E.
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean and Professor