Dean's Desk - July 27, 2021

Dear GT Computing community,

It’s the last day of summer classes, and we are all turning our attention to the fall semester, and to our return to campus.

I’m sure everyone is working with their supervisors to hammer out their work arrangements for the fall. As is always the case, different groups have different needs and different responsibilities, so plans may be a little different from one group to another; however, I do expect some strong commonalities:

  • Fall classes start on August 23, so plan to “start” next month, probably close to August 16 for most of us. 
  • In the Before Times(tm) we were allowed one work-from-home day a week as a default, and I expect most of us will be able to see that rise to two as a default. For some, that increase will not work out (just as one day a week did not for every group). Some will be able to make an extraordinarily good case showing that more remote work will improve productivity.
  • Things happen, so I expect each team to have on-campus coverage every day.

No matter where we end up, these plans must reflect what’s best for each group and will require that as groups we will work together to make the right thing happen. Speaking of where we end up, this is just the first step. I very much expect that both CoC and the Institute will be able to revisit these plans before the end of the year as we figure out what works, and put in the infrastructure to help us to work better, remotely or otherwise.

I know the return to campus can be a source of uncertainty and irritation, but we’ll figure it out. More importantly, it’s not all uncertainty and irritation. I suspect many of you are very happy at the thought that we will be together again. I know I am. In fact, we are planning a year of celebration with events, T-shirts and more. Our theme is the Power of Two, capturing what we can accomplish when we come together to pursue our common goals. We have shown that power through the last year, pulling together through crisis after crisis, and I want to celebrate how that energy will carry us to new heights moving forward. More on the nerdy future events later.

In the meantime, let me end by noting that our own Andrea Grimes Parker (SIC) is co-PI on a $2.4 million grant to develop a virtual health counselor called Clara. Clara is designed to address vaccine hesitancy and will be piloted in 12 Black churches in Boston. Please join me in thanking Andrea for her intellectual leadership, and for her work using technology for the public good.

That’s all for today. Have a good week, and make sure you take some time to relax. Head out to the country, or into the city, or just stay home and relax. I shall see you here next week.


Charles L. Isbell, Jr.

John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean

College of Computing

Georgia Tech


EA: Alicia Richhart,, 404-894-8357


Don't just adopt opinions,  develop them

Hammer out their work arrangements:


$2.4 million grant:

The country:

The city:

Stay home: