A Strategic Merging

Two College of Technology departments have been approved for merger and have begun the integration process to be finalized on July 1. The departments of Organizational Leadership and Supervision and Industrial Technology will combine faculty, students, and majors to establish the largest department within the college, the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation. With nearly 40 faculty members, the new department will serve approximately 1,200 majors statewide, 1,500 minors and 200 graduate students. As the change takes effect, most observers will not see many outward changes, said Gary Bertoline, associate dean for graduate studies and interim head of the department. “It will have a different title, but the degree programs will remain the same,” he said. A nationwide search is underway to fill the department head position. Once that person has been identified and is on campus, additional opportunities will be explored. "The merger is a unique opportunity to capitalize and build on existing strengths in both departments, and to better realign with national trends in higher education. The opportunity lies in the applied nature of our programs,” Bertoline said. “Innovation is what drives modern economies. A modern, robust economy is dependent on technology. The idea that we can contribute to that is exciting.” The task force that recommended the merger identified two new opportunities for additional programs of study: 1) Technology Leadership and 2) Innovation and Commercialization. With the increased focus on innovation, Bertoline believes new courses will be highly valued by a variety of degree programs. That extra interest will expand the service component of the department as well. The department merger was approved by the Purdue University Board of Trustees Feb. 4, 2011.