Optimism for a vibrant and expanding Ferris State University College of Engineering Technology is in place as Mike Staley steps in as the college’s new dean, building on his career’s professional and educational experiences.
“I consider myself an engineer through and through,” Staley said. “I am proud of the learning I achieved in various assignments with Jacobs Engineering in Orlando, Florida, which allowed me to move on to executive roles and have since found great pleasure and fulfillment in academia. The idea of being in a classroom or being involved in project work is very much a part of my educational activity and intentions.”
Coming to Ferris, Staley has more than 15 years of leadership at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida, where he most recently served as associate vice president/dean of the School of Engineering, Design and Construction.
“In my two months on Ferris’ campus, I have been most impressed by our faculty who are clearly experts in their respective fields,” Staley said. “I believe our instructors and staff deeply care about their students and programs.”
Staley offered his observations and voiced his intentions for the college’s next decade in a PowerPoint presentation during a welcome back session.
“I want CET to be known as the engineering college that is intrinsically tied to the real world, a confluence of industry knowledge, 136 years of theory to practice learning, and an enduring desire to reimagine what is possible,” Staley said. “We are engineers, designers and technologists, professors with years of industry experience who mold eager and determined students who pursue their passions with tenacity and resilience. Together, we can remove the riddle from the impossible and reinvent the way things are done.”
The dean further believes the College of Engineering Technology can be an active contributor to Ferris’ interests in maintaining and enhancing its student population.
“We intend to create an AAS to BS completion program with community college transfer students to offset the declining 18-year-old demographic,” Staley said.
He added that a “Complete Michigan” campaign, also offered by Ferris President David Eisler in his Founders’ Day address, has potential for the College of Engineering Technology and the university.
“There are more than a million people in Michigan, who have some college but have not completed a degree,” Staley said. “There is research that suggests 24,000 students are highly likely to complete a Bachelor of Science degree within two years of enrollment, at a Michigan college or university. A ‘Complete Michigan’ program could help this population, who are often saddled with student debt by offering workforce grants to increase their earning potential and improve their quality of life.”
As a new leader in a well-established college on campus, Staley wants to foster the mindset that significant growth is possible for the CET.
“I very much hope to establish a committee of our faculty, administration and staff that can define and execute a path to achieve these initiatives,” Staley said. “We will create the engineers and engineering technologists who will design the products and services that will drive our economy forward, Ferris Forward.”