College of Engineering and Applied Science dean finalist: Ying Shang

On Jan. 22, dean finalist Ying Shang discussed her vision for the campus and her goals to increase enrollment and funding for the College of Engineering and Applied Science in a campus presentation.

Shang, who is the dean at Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Science at Indiana Tech, is one of three finalists running to be the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s new dean.

As a dean already, Shang acknowledges she is qualified for the position. “When I look at the ads of this position, and I look at what the university is looking for — for someone who can grow enrollment, do fundraising, new programs launching, accreditation — I do feel my background seems aligned with what the job description is,” she said.

Ying Shang. Photo via Indiana Tech.

Shang wants to look for funding outside of the campus. In her current position, Shang secured a $1.5 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which she used to buy new equipment for her department.

“Of course, money gives you power. Money is not everything, but the money gives me freedom to support my faculty without asking my provost or president to tell me what to do,” she said.

According to Shang’s presentation and, approximately 49% of Colorado’s high school seniors were not choosing to go to college, and enrollment in electrical, mechanical and computer engineering at UCCS has been declining over the last few years.

To increase enrollment, Shang wants to offer unique programs, like software and civil engineering, as well as interdisciplinary programs while also expanding on UCCS’ current online programs.

“Most engineering faculty would say there’s no way you teach engineering online because you have the hands-on part of the education,” Shang said. “After COVID-19, … in one week, everything is online, and we certainly can teach engineering online.”

Shang also proposed offering more certificate programs to increase enrollment because it will bring students to UCCS who do not want to pursue a degree.

Shang is also passionate about supporting student entrepreneurship. In 2022, she launched her own business, which she said makes her uniquely suited as a candidate because she is able to guide students through the process of commercializing their products.

The next candidate, Dr. Joseph Rencis, is giving his campus presentation on Feb. 1 from 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. in UC 302. It is open to all students, faculty, staff and community members.

Engineering and Applied Science building. Photo via the UCCS Photography Archives.