Students may complete degrees as Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering closes

Published: Jun 5, 2015 10:54:00 AM
Media Contact: Jim Killian,, 334.844.4218

Auburn University will implement a plan initiated by the College of Engineering to close its Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering, following approval by the Board of Trustees at its regularly scheduled June 5 meeting. In adopting a resolution submitted by the Academic Affairs Committee, the action would close the department effective August 15, as well as phase out the bachelor’s degree program in polymer and fiber engineering.

“This move has been studied very carefully at all levels within the university, and is motivated by fundamental changes that have occurred within the College of Engineering, as well as in the regional industry base,” Dean of Engineering Christopher B. Roberts said. “Foremost among these is the continued diminishment of enrollments in the polymer and fiber program, and the need to align our resources with emerging enrollment trends.”

In concert with the board action, the College of Engineering will no longer accept new students to the program. At the same time, those currently enrolled in the program will be given the opportunity to finish their studies in polymer and fiber engineering. The college will also continue to maintain graduate programs in the field.

“Auburn University is committed to supporting students currently enrolled in the program, as well as helping them to achieve their goals and pursue successful careers in engineering,” University Provost Timothy Boosinger noted.

The College of Engineering is in the process of reaching out to all polymer and fiber students to ensure that they continue to progress toward their degrees. Faculty within the department will be reassigned to other areas within the College of Engineering, in order that their areas of expertise may be fully utilized teaching a wider base of students.

The College of Engineering will continue to offer specialized coursework at the graduate level among several of its departments through the planned creation of an interdisciplinary Center for Polymer and Composite Engineering.

“The history of this program, which began as the Department of Textile Engineering, has been one of accomplishment and has graduated a significant number of distinguished alumni,” Roberts points out. “At the same time, we are facing new challenges as we move ahead to meet emerging opportunities.”