Geological Engineering Major Eliminated at University of Arizona

The story is covered by the University of Arizona’s campus newspaper, the Daily Wildcat.

Several years ago the geological engineering (undergraduate?) program was separated from the MGE department, sending the program and two geological engineering faculty, Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Kulatilake, to be administratively housed under the Materials Science and Engineering Department. It seems relatively clear from Dr. Sternberg’s remarks reported in the article that he feels that he and presumably Dr. Kulatilake were not included in the discussion regarding the MGE Department’s proposal and he questions the process that was taken by the Senate to reach their decision. Although not directly quoted as saying it, the Daily Wildcat reported that Dr. Sternberg feels that the College is trying to get rid of him. However, the Dean of the College of Engineering, Tom Peterson indicated very strongly that this was not the case:

“It makes sense logically and financially to combine them, and I’m offended anyone would even insinuate that I would try to get rid of faculty…”

On a personal note, I have had some interaction with Dean Peterson, and I think very highly of him and everything I have heard from others is positive as well. I take him at his word, but the fact remains that Dr. Sternberg feels like he is being pushed out. If Dr. Sternberg were to leave, it would leave the Laboratory for Advanced Subsurface Imaging (LASI) at the U of A without its director. So far there has been no word as to what will happen to Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Kulatilake, whether they would be brought back into the MGE Department or sent to another department or something else entirely. If I hear anything else, I will let you all know, and please feel free to do the same.