Less than a decade after the University of South Florida (southern-most location of a public university in Florida at that time and hence the name) opened its doors in 1956, the college of engineering offered its first classes in 1964. The Industrial and Management Systems Engineering department was founded in the same year under the leadership of Dr. Robert J. Wimmert. Starting with the BSIE program, the department soon added graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels. In 1984 the degree program for the Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) was added, which was the first fully distance learning master's program in engineering management in the southeastern U.S. The novelty and quality of this graduate program soon pushed the enrollment up to an unprecedented level of near 200 in its early years. Currently, the IMSE department educates 229 bachelors, nearly 166 masters, and 27 full time PhD students. The department currently has 17 full time faculty and aspires to raise that number to 20 in coming years.