The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association
November 2019
In this issue of the Source, we are pleased to feature a letter to the membership from ECEDHA President Zhihua Qu describing the progress being made by the Association. Saliently, the Association now has a grown-up organizational structure that provides abundant opportunities for members to engage and contribute. As always, we all look forward to our annual meetings. Bring the family along - the next Annual Meeting and ECExpo will be held March 18 – 21, 2020 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld.

Regional meetings are a vital ECEDHA activity, and they have been exuberantly upping the game over the past few years. We are pleased to feature reports from the Central States, whose members met in Norman, OK, and the Northeast, whose members met at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Finally, we are pleased to welcome and spotlight new ECE Chair Dr. Deepa Kundur at the University of Toronto. Serving new Chairs is a vital aspect of ECEDHA – the New Chairs’ workshop at the Annual Meeting is always well attended.

ECE in the News
Deepa Kundur Named ECE Chair at the University of Toronto

Professor  Deepa Kundur  has been appointed Chair of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Toronto for a five-year term.

Two areas of focus for her during her term as Chair of ECE include faculty expansion and enhancing international research and educational collaborations.

ECEDHA Central States Regional Meeting Update

The Central States Regional ECEDHA Meeting took place on October 13-14 at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK with ten department chairs in attendance. Discussion topics included the revision of the Chair’s Survey questions to best fit the operational needs of departments and the assessment of the survey’s utility, in addition to three topical sessions, namely, on budget models, industry advisory boards, and motivating underperforming faculty.

On the first day, Don Gruenbacher, Kansas State, and Jerry Hudgins, Nebraska, led a discussion on budget models from the traditional “incremental” model to the pure “responsibility center management” (RCM) model, and all the hybrid variations in between. There was a lively exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences especially with respect to tuition revenue sharing, service costs, and strategic investment. The session ended with dinner at a local restaurant, but the discussion continued through the evening confirming the timeliness of the topic and the motivational skills of the presenters.

ECEDHA Northeast Regional Meeting Update

On October 25th and 26th, the Northeast Regional Group held a very exciting meeting at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Chairs from nearly 20 institutions gathered for engaging discussions on use of technology in labs at scale, new university-industry partnerships and student mental health, what universities are doing about it and what implications it has for the ECE departments. .

The program began on Friday with a regional iREDEFINE meeting. Students from 4 institutions participated and enjoyed the close personal attention and feedback from faculty and chairs. After a productive day, students and chairs had the opportunity for further networking and fun at the UMass Lowell v. Boston hockey game. During the ECEDHA Regional Meeting the next day, all participating chairs/heads expressed very strong support to set up this kind of mentoring program on a permanent basis.
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