UGA establishes School of Computing

Computer class with projection on wallAcademic unit will be jointly administered by the Franklin College and College of Engineering

In response to rising student enrollment and the growing role of computing in a range of fields, the University of Georgia has elevated its longstanding department of computer science to a School of Computing.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the School of Computing will be jointly administered by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Its creation is effective July 1, 2022.

“The University of Georgia is committed to creating synergies across our campus that foster new opportunities for students and faculty and better serve communities in Georgia and around the world,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am excited about the positive impact the School of Computing will have on research and education in the STEM disciplines at UGA.”

The establishment of the School of Computing stems from the work of a seven-member Task Force on the Future of Computing that included faculty and academic leaders from both the Franklin College and the College of Engineering. The task force was charged by Provost S. Jack Hu and chaired by Marisa Pagnattaro, who was recently named vice president for instruction.

“Our students will benefit greatly from a School of Computing that will be supported with resources from both the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering,” Hu said. “The strategic hiring of new faculty will create new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate instruction while also supporting research in areas that are of strategic importance to our state and world.”

Rising student demand

Enrollment in computer science courses has grown rapidly in recent years, and the College of Engineering is UGA’s fastest growing college. The School of Computing will administer the university’s bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs in computer science as well as the master’s program in cybersecurity and privacy. Its establishment comes at time of high demand for graduates with expertise in computing and related fields.

“The department of computer science has grown significantly since its founding in 1984,” said Franklin College Dean Alan T. Dorsey. “Its new, elevated status as the School of Computing reflects the vital role of computer science in our university and in our world.”

Nationally, employment in STEM-related occupations is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 8% through 2029, which is more than double the 3.4% growth projected for non-STEM occupations. Within STEM, computer science and engineering are among the fields with the highest forecasted growth.

Interdisciplinary research has become a hallmark of UGA. Accordingly, faculty in the School of Computing will also be engaged in the university’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, Georgia Informatics Institutes, and Center for Cyber-Physical Systems.

“The College of Engineering continues to grow rapidly,” said Dean Donald J. Leo, “and the establishment of the School of Computing with the Franklin College marks the beginning of an exciting new era for our university.”

By Sam Fahmy

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