Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dear GT Computing Community,

Welcome to Day 2 of Back-to-School week. 

As always, there is a lot going on; however, I wanted to take a moment to say something about someone who has been an important part of the College and each of us in it, and who is now retiring after 19 years of service.  In more normal times, we would have gathered together to say our fond farewells to Pamela Ruffin in person. Of course, we cannot gather in the way that we would wish, but I cannot let her last day pass without acknowledging her and her contributions.

Pam began her career at Georgia Tech on March 19, 2001. Over the course of her 19-year career in the College of Computing, she has held key positions at all levels: Administrative Coordinator, Administrative Manager II, Director of College HR and Administration, and finally, since 2011, Director of HR, supporting and developing the College’s staff.  

In her time, Pam has served under four deans, including two interim deans. She played a key role in creating and updating almost all of our College HR processes. The College Performance Appraisal process that she created was named a Georgia Tech “Best Practice.” Pam had the idea to create a training budget for staff development across all units of the College. She has represented College staff at Institute meetings and in focus groups on staff inclusion, visibility, and processes. From the beginning, she showed not only excellence but the wonderful warm kindness we all know so well. She is a consummate professional. As the notes yesterday from my predecessors should tell you, her work is respected and appreciated.

But beyond her role in focus groups and writing policy, Pam’s legacy will be one of having touched those around her. I returned to Georgia Tech a year after Pam arrived, and I didn’t meet and get to know her until much later. I am grateful for the time I have been able to work with her. I have watched her as she has worked with, consoled, and helped develop so many of the staff and faculty across the College. She was always concerned with what was the right thing to do, and was determined to see it through. She has been a source of advice and support for me in all my roles over the last decade plus, including during our current circumstances. I have enjoyed our many 6:30am talks, and I will greatly miss her radio, her clipboard with papers for me to sign, her free candy, her messages, her smile, her monthly personnel updates, and her friendship.

I know we’ll all miss Pam. In fact, “by rights” I miss her already.  Please take a moment to join me in thinking about Pam, and in wishing her well in her new, retired life. Pam: although we cannot be in the same room on your last day to let you how we all feel, hope you know that you are appreciated and that you will be truly missed. 

Charles L. Isbell, Jr.

John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean

College of Computing

Georgia Tech

EA: Alicia Richhart, alicia@cc.gatech.edu, 404-894-8357

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