Worcester Polytechnic Institute Case Study

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Established in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a private technological university located in Worcester, Massachusetts, with over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students combined (6 wpi). The mission of WPI is “to create, discover, and convey knowledge at the frontiers of technological academic inquiry for the betterment of society” (1 wpi). There are 14 academic departments and 50 plus undergraduate and graduate degree programs combing research and teaching through engineering, science, management, and humanities. WPI’s project based learning model leads way to 45 global project centers (2 wpi). The educational process prepares students to become leaders in professional careers who will provide meaningful societal contribution…show more content…
Across the Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Foisie Business School, the 14 academic departments at WPI are each headed by a Director or a Dean, under which faculty reside. While departments are ‘separated’ by specialty and focus, fences do not appear to exist. “Biomedical engineering faculty members might collaborate with colleagues in the Foisie Business School to translate groundbreaking research into a new company” (10 wpi), showcasing collaboration across disciplines is…show more content…
91% of full-time faculty at WPI have a PhD or terminal degree (5 wpi). Professional bureaucracy structures are often seen in higher education where the organization relies on the skills of the professionals, giving them control over their own work and research. This type of control allows faculty to work closely with the students, as noted as an integral part of the education and innovation at WPI. Just above the base is the middle line, comprised of the directors, deans, and department heads of the individual academic departments that serve administrative type duties to coordinate the large operating core. The department heads additionally serve as professors within the WPI organization. In a professional bureaucracy, there are few degrees of separation between apex and core lending to a flat decentralized profile (11 Bolman &

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