CSE Strategic Plan

The CMU College of Science and Engineering aims to provide dedicated students with educational opportunities that will prepare them for successful careers. Our programs offer exceptional facilities, knowledgeable personnel, valuable research experience, and rigorous course work that foster career readiness and a passion for STEM.

Imperative I: Nurture Student Success

Goal 1, Objective 1-a Targets

Goal 1: Become a first-choice university for students interested in STEM careers.

Objective 1-a Recruit well-prepared students to our undergraduate and graduate programs.


- Average ACT (SAT) score of entering undergraduate students increases from 24.0 (1180).
- Yield of undergrad applicants with ACT > 27 (SAT > 1290) increases from 30% to 45%.
- Enrollment of out-of-state & international undergrad students increases from 8.5% to 15%.
- Enrollment of in-state graduate students from outside CMU increases from 12.4% to 20%.
- The number of scholarships, the amount of funding designated for CSE students, and the proportion of scholarships that are awarded each year increase.

The number of scholarships, the amount of funding designated for CSE students, and the proportion of scholarships that are awarded each year increase.

Goal 1, Objective 1-a Actions


- Secure financial support for tuition scholarships for high-achieving students
- Develop a “CSE Dean Scholars” program that is competitive, is offered to top students who aren’t selected for Centralis scholarships, and provides funding for studying abroad in specified programs (Waterford, Quito/Galápagos,
Stellenbosch, etc.) among other things.
- Enhance communication with prospective students in coordination with Admissions. Work with UComm on initiatives such as student-led videos for recruiting.
- Develop strategies for attracting high-achieving students to our Master’s programs.
- Host annual recruiting days for prospective graduate students from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; focus on doctoral programs (Mathematics, SAM, EES, BCMB); tie to campus events such as IGLR student research symposium.

Links to: Student Success Strategy #5: Support strategic enrollment management practices and merit-based financial aid to recruit exceptional undergraduate and graduate students.

Goal 1, Objective 1-b

Objective 1-b Promote diversity and accessibility to ensure students in our programs are representative of the Michigan population.


- Enrollment of students from under-represented populations increases from 35.9% to 50% female and from 12.5% to 17% minority.
- Retention of at-risk students improves; the 4-year graduation rate increases from 8.8 to 15%


- In coordination with Admissions, develop and implement a robust recruitment strategy to attract students from areas with significant under-represented populations; secure funding.
- Ensure retention initiatives (Goal 2, below) include strategies tailored to at-risk students.

Links to: CMU Student Success Strategy #2b: Provide courses, programs, co-curricular and extracurricular experiences for the diverse range and geographical locations of our students as well as their current and continuing educational and professional
development needs.

Goal 2, Objective 2-a Targets

Goal 2: Increase retention, graduation rates; reduce time to graduation for all CSE students

Objective 2-a: Provide the academic support CSE students need for success in their chosen degree programs and promote student use of these opportunities.


- All students interested in CSE programs see a CSE advisor every semester during their freshman and sophomore years to plan their academic progress. (from 38.8% to 100%).
- All transfer students meet with a CSE advisor every semester until declaring a major.
- All incoming students (freshmen and transfer students) participate in activities to help them develop the attitudes and habits necessary for academic success.
- All students have access to academic assistance (tutoring, etc.) for CSE courses.

Retention of students in CSE programs (from interest at Orientation through signing a major) increases from 68.6% to 75%.

Goal 2, Objective 2-a Actions


- Assess the CSE Student Success Center (including advisor workload) in the context of this strategic plan and recommend any modifications needed to improve its effectiveness.

- Expand the capacity of the Science & Engineering Residential College and enhance programming focused on academic success and career readiness. Starting with SCI 109 as a model, develop programming for incoming students to impress upon them the attitudes and habits needed for success. Special focus on at-risk groups (first-generation, transfer, international students).

- Assess the effectiveness of the Reimagining First Year “Gateway Course” initiative and adapt successful approaches to all introductory CSE courses as appropriate.

- Create a Science Tutoring Center modeled after the Math Assistance Center.

- Work with ESS to track student progress from admission to orientation to enrollment to signing a major; identify stumbling blocks and devise strategies to obviate them.

Goal 2, Objective 2-a Links

Links to:

CMU Student Success Strategy #2c: Provide appropriate, adequate… student services.

CMU Student Success Strategy #3: Enhance infrastructure to support teaching and learning and to help undergraduate students develop college-going identities (e.g. writing and math centers, first-year gateway courses and experiences).

Imperative II: Fostering Scholarly Activity

Goal 1, Objective 1-a

Goal 1: Increase research activity and its impact.

Objective 1-a: Continue to increase the frequency of publication in well-respected journals.

- Increase the number of peer-reviewed publications, as indexed in the Web of Science.
- Increase the number of publications in Q1 journals.
- Increase the ratio of (publications in Q1+Q2 journals)/(all indexed publications).
- Increase the total number of citations over a 5-year period, as indexed in Web of Science.


Develop a periodic assessment of each regular faculty member’s publication record that will account the frequency of publication, quality of journals, and differing publication rates between (sub)disciplines. This, along with the record of external funding and publications with students, will be used as a factor in determining teaching workloads.

Continue recruiting faculty into research-intensive positions with low teaching loads in the first several years and higher expectations for research results.

Links: CMU Target #2

Goal 1, Objective 1-b

Objective 1-b Facilitate participation of more CSE faculty in research.


Increase percentage of regular faculty publishing in peer-reviewed journals.


Develop a survey to learn about faculty research experiences, barriers to research productivity, and identify opportunities to increase research participation.

Links to: CMU Target #3: The number of research-active faculty who have at least one top-level publication will increase annually.

Goal 1, Objective 1-c

Objective 1-c Increase the publication of student research.


The number of peer-reviewed publications with student authors increases.


Establish a competitive summer research scholar program to provide funds for undergraduate students to engage in research directly supervised by a faculty member.
Develop programs to help faculty implement effective practices for mentoring student research.

Links to: CMU Target #4: A systematic approach for tracking undergraduate and graduate student publications and presentations will be developed.

Goal 2, Objective 2-a

Goal 2: Increase research funding in the college.

Objective 2-a Increase the total amount of external funding.


Increase the dollar amount of annual expenditures on externally-funded projects.

Continue to recruit faculty into research-intensive positions with low teaching loads in the first several years and higher expectations for grants and research results.

Links to: CMU Target #1: The amount of federal expenditures will increase by $1.2M.

Goal 2, Objective 2-b

Objective 2-b Facilitate participation of more faculty in externally-funded research.


Increase percentage of regular faculty receiving external funding.


Develop a survey to learn about faculty research experiences, barriers to research productivity, and identify opportunities to increase research participation.

Promote faculty attendance at workshops for grantsmanship and proposal writing; invite program officers from NSF and the like to CMU to hold workshops on campus.

Improve communication/publicity about externally-funded research.

Links to: CMU Targets #1 and #3

Imperative III: Strengthening Partnerships in Michigan and Beyond

Goal 1

Goal 1: Determine the baseline of CSE community partnerships

Objective 1: Conduct a survey of CSE faculty, staff and RSOs to determine number and type of community and professional partnerships.


Number of community and professional partnerships and assessment of benefit to CSE and external partners. Partnerships include: community service projects, advisory boards, internships, collaborative projects between CSE and government agencies and industry, service-learning courses, profession service as editor, editorial boards, etc.


Appoint Strategic Partnership Committee (SPC) of faculty and staff to develop survey instrument to determine number and benefit of CSE partnerships.

Goal 2

Goal 2: Develop Plan to Enhance and Expand CSE Strategic Partnerships

Objective 2-a:Based on information from survey develop a strategic plan to guide investment in CSE partnerships. Coordinate with CMU’s Carnegie Community Engagement initiative.

Objective 2-b: Explore options to create large-scale CSE-wide community partnership project to include faculty, students and staff.


Creation of plan that includes goals that focus on defined areas that align CSE strengths with external needs. The plan will guide CSE investment and assessment via well-defined metrics to measure effectiveness.


The new Strategic Partnership Committee will determine appropriate actions.