ESC: Dean Peña-Mora Visits
Written by Bwog Staff
Sean Zimmermann reports from Monday’s meeting of the ESC.
SEAS Dean Feniosky Peña-Mora came to tonight’s Engineering Student Council meeting. President Christopher Elizondo introduced Dean Peña-Mora as “the greatest champion for engineering students that we have on campus.”
The Dean opened by explaining that he had “no particular agenda,” for the meeting, but he wanted to observe how a normal council meeting worked. The council then moved into a Q&A session for council members to discuss issues with the Dean.
When asked how the school could develop a better sense of community with the surrounding Morningside residents, the Dean explained that he had been focusing on developing the engineering school’s own community rather than working on relations with the outside community. The Dean cited his office’s work in developing SEAS pride, such as the SEAS scarves and ties given to seniors, as well as the planned student carnival next year. He explained that the engineering school “may have small numbers,” but should have “a strong presence.”
The Dean also spoke about the Manhattanville expansion during the meeting. Peña-Mora explained that the cost of building into Manhattanvile will be “significant,” and though there is a place in the Manhattanvile expansion reserved for the engineering school, he explained that any development is at least 10 years away. The Dean explained that the engineering school is hoping to acquire space in Uris Hall (currently occupied by Columbia Business School) when the Business School moves into Manhattanville in 7 years, but there are “many others vying for the space.”
Additionally, the Dean explained, in today’s world, an undergraduate degree in engineering is not enough. Therefore, a committee of professors tasked with investigating the undergraduate curriculum has recommended that all departments develop integrated BS/MS programs, similar to the ones already in place in the Electrical and Mechanical departments. The programs allow student to begin taking Masters courses in their senior year, so they could receive their undergraduate and graduate degrees in 5 years.
Also in Peña-Mora news, Columbia General Council was “not thrilled” with the idea of the Dean going skydiving. Therefore, after consulting with Columbia’s lawyers, it has been decided that the skydiving with Dean Peña-Mora event will not take place due to liability issues.