University Engineering Initiative Act

The University Engineering Initiative Act, or UEIA, was created to increase the number of engineering graduates in the state of Kansas to 1,365 per year by 2021. The goal for the Carl. R. Ice College of Engineering was 587 graduates per year by 2021. The initiative directed the secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce to work with the Kansas Board of Regents, as well as Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, to develop a plan to target engineering education efforts to fuel economic growth and business success in Kansas.

Funding and matching

The UEIA bill passed on May 25, 2011, providing $105 million to the three schools over the 10-year period of the act. Each school receives $3.5 million per year. The colleges must then provide a one-to-one match from non-state sources, or $3.5 million per year for each school, for a total match of $105 million over the 10 years in support of engineering education programs.

The plan

By 2021, the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering will add more than 160 new graduates from its programs. To meet this goal, the college will implement enhanced recruitment and retention programs to increase the size of the student body and support student success. It also has plans to use a portion of the funds to build Engineering Hall, which will increase facility size by more than 100,000 square feet, as well as add to the number of faculty serving students.

Current status

As of 2021, the Kansas legislature has recognized the success of the UEIA program by passing a 10-year renewal to begin July 2022. The three state engineering schools met and exceeded the goal of graduating 1,365 students by the year 2021, doing so for the first time in 2017. Demand for these graduates remains strong with a high percentage either employed or seeking additional professional education.

As part of the UEIA renewal, the goal to maintain 1,365 graduates per year continues with an additional focus on ways to keep top engineering graduates living and working in Kansas and contributing to state and local economies.