From the Dean's Desk: October 2, 2020

Dear GT Computing community,

Georgia Tech Dean of Computing Charles Isbell

It’s Friday, I think you’re happy to know. I’d like to start today with a little housekeeping. The College has recently undergone an audit—as we do from time to time and routinely during leadership transitions—and what we learned is that we are not consistently handling our travel paperwork correctly. Now to be clear, we haven’t seen anything that would lead to bad consequences for any individual employee; however, we are seeing persistent and repeated errors that could eventually lead to outcomes inconsistent with our roles as stewards of taxpayer funds. So, we can and will do better.

In order to address this issue, we will require everyone who might travel on CoC funds and everyone who handles travel paperwork to go through travel training before the end of October. We’ll be sending out an e-mail early next week with the details. Now, I realize that almost no one is traveling right now, but that reality combined with all the recent changes in travel processes actually makes this the perfect time to get our ducks in a row.

On a more cheerful note, and also related to leadership transitions, I’d like to note the need for a new Associate Dean for Off-Campus and Special Initiatives. This position was first held by Irfan Essa, lo these many years gone, then by Gregory Abowd, who held onto its responsibilities as he took on the role of Associate Dean for Research and Space Planning. Now as we see an increase in complexity in both research and space planning (it’s not always time vs space, sometimes they both grow no matter what we do), it is time to relieve Gregory of this additional role (he says, and I quote, “Thank you.”). As such, we are launching a formal internal search for a replacement. The application process is similar to the one we used for Academic Affairs: any interested person should send a cover letter and a CV to Marcus Johnson by next Friday 10/9. I will announce this again early next week.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that Stevie Wonder’s double-album masterpiece, Songs in the Key of Life, came out during this week in 1976. As we going about the business of living, I wish you a lovely weekend, one that lets you enjoy your pastimes and maybe even knocks you off your feet.

Have a great weekend. Stay safe.



Charles L. Isbell, Jr.
John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean
College of Computing
Georgia Tech


EA: Alicia Richhart,, 404-894-8357

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Knocks you off your feet: