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Stanford Report, January 5, 2000

New department in Engineering School

A new department has been formed within the School of Engineering to make Stanford more competitive in an information technology-based economy.

At its December meeting, the Board of Trustees gave final approval for the creation of the Department of Management Science and Engineering. The new department was created from the departments of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM) and Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research (EES&OR).

Earlier, the Advisory Board of the Academic Council, which considers recommendations for the creation or abolition of academic departments, approved the plan, which was endorsed by Provost John Hennessy.

Jim Plummer, dean of the School of Engineering, said the new department has "critical mass" that "brings together both the breadth and depth of what will be required to compete with major peer institutions in this area."

The mission statement of the new department, which is chaired by Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, professor of industrial engineering, reads:

"The mission of the new department of Management Science and Engineering will be research and education associated with the development of the knowledge, tools and methods required to make decisions and shape policies, configure organizational structures, design engineering systems and solve operational problems associated with the information-intensive, technology-based economy."

Noting that "management" is part of the new department's title, Plummer said he hopes the new department will enable the engineering school to build broader and deeper ties with the Graduate School of Business, as well as with existing programs with high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Faculty in the two departments began discussing the creation of a new department more than two years ago and overwhelmingly supported the idea. Since the beginning of Fall Quarter. The two departments have been operating under one leadership team, with Paté-Cornell as chair and Peter Glynn of EES&OR as vice chair.

During Winter and Spring quarters, the new department will seek approval for three new degrees. Students who were accepted and enrolled in previously existing programs will have the choice of completing programs to which they originally applied or joining the programs of the new department.

IEEM had offered an undergraduate degree and IEEM and EES&OR had offered master's and doctoral degrees.

The new department, according to the plan submitted for approval, "will be unique in terms of its composition, breadth and depth of coverage and focus compared with the leading Industrial Engineering and Operations Research departments around the country." It will cover five broad areas: operations research and mathematical methods of systems analysis; production operations and manufacturing; decision analysis and risk analysis; economics, finance, strategy and public policy analysis; and management, organizations and entrepreneurship.

IEEM had 14 Academic Council faculty members, while EES&OR had 19 Academic Council faculty members. The new department has 33 Academic Council faculty members. SR