Freeman to Step Down as Dean of Georgia Tech's College of Computing

January 24, 2002

Peter A. Freeman met with the faculty and staff of the College of Computing today to announce he was stepping down as dean effective May 5, 2002. After serving as founding dean of the College since 1990, Freeman will assume a position with the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington as assistant director of NSF for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE). He will remain a member of the Georgia Tech Faculty, on assignment to NSF.

Jean-Lou Chameau, Georgia Tech provost, was in attendance at Friday's meeting and told the College community: "Peter has done a tremendous job at recruiting bright faculty who will carry his legacy. He also has done a tremendous job of raising much needed funds for expansion of the College. Peter is a great colleague and I will miss him."

Freeman told his faculty and staff it was a "bittersweet time" for him.

"Serving as dean of the College of Computing at Georgia Tech has been the highlight of my career. We are blessed with faculty with great minds who push the boundaries of computing and who help integrate the discipline of computer science with many other academic and applied areas," he said. "The College of Computing will always be a part of me, and I'll miss working with the great faculty, staff, students and administrators both here at the College of Computing and Georgia Tech on a regular basis. But, remember that you are the College. Carry on!"

Freeman holds the only endowed dean's chair at Georgia Tech, the John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean of Computing, which was established in 1999. Under his leadership, the College of Computing has become one of the strongest and largest computing research and education groups in the country, as well as one of the top units at Georgia Tech. Enrollment in the College of Computing has grown dramatically from approximately 700 students to a current total of nearly 1,900, increasing by more than 1,000 students at the undergraduate level and by nearly 120 at the graduate level. The faculty has also grown from 37 academic and four research faculty to 64 academic and 35 research faculty.

Freeman's leadership also helped bring to fruition the single largest outright gift in Georgia Tech's history when in 2000 Christopher W. Klaus donated $15 million to the College. The new Advanced Computing Technology Building, now in the design phase, will be named in his honor.

In addition to serving as dean, Freeman also served as chief information officer for the campus for three years during which time he led the campus networking project (FutureNet) in preparation for hosting the1996 Olympics. As part of the campus leadership team he was heavily involved in the recently completed capital campaign and the Yamacraw Economic Development Mission. In 1998, he chaired the Sam Nunn NationsBank Policy Forum on information security, which led to the creation of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), one of the first comprehensive centers in the country focused on information security. He currently serves as acting director for GTISC.

Prior to coming to Georgia Tech, Freeman was visiting distinguished professor of information technology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (1989-90), and from 1987 to 1989 he served as division director for computer and computation research at the National Science Foundation. He served on the faculty of the Department of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, for almost twenty years before coming to Georgia Tech.

"We are grateful to Peter Freeman for serving as the dean for our College of Computing during its first 12 years," said Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough. "Under his leadership the College has grown dramatically and developed into one of the nation's best computing programs in the nation. His legacy will include an accomplished faculty, a top flight student body, and a successful capital campaign that provided faculty chairs, student scholarships and private funding for the soon to be built Klaus Advanced Computing Technology Building. We are grateful to Peter and wish him the best in his new position."

Freeman received his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1970, his M.A. in mathematics and psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1965, and his B.A. in physics and mathematics from Rice University in 1963. He co-authored "The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States" (CRA, 1999) and authored "Software Perspectives: The System is the Message" (Addison Wesley, 1987), "Software Systems Principles" (SRA, 1975), and numerous technical papers.

In addition, he edited or co-edited four books including, "Software Reusability" (IEEE Computer Society, 1987), and "Software Design Techniques," 4th edition (IEEE Press,1983). He was the founding editor of the McGraw-Hill Series in software engineering and technology. In addition, Freeman is an active consultant to industry, government and academia around the globe. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Computing Research Association since 1988, having served as vice-chair and chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He serves as co-chair for the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Advisory Committee and is a senior advisor to the University of United Arab Emirates. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.