UGA establishes School of Computing

Academic unit is jointly administered by Franklin College and College of Engineering

In response to rising student enrollment and the growing role of computer science in various fields, the University of Georgia has elevated its long-standing computer science department 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 will take effect on July 1, 2022.

“The University of Georgia is committed to creating synergies across our campus that foster new opportunities for students and educators 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 creation of the School of Computing stems from the work of a seven-member Task Force on the Future of Computing, which includes faculty and academic leaders from both Franklin College and the College of Engineering. The task force was tasked by Provost S. Jack Hu and chaired by Marisa Pagnattaro, who was recently named vice president for instruction.

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

Rising demand from students

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

“The computer science department has grown significantly since its founding in 1984,” said Alan T. Dorsey, dean of Franklin College. “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 will grow by 8% through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is more than double the 3.4% growth expected for non-STEM occupations. Within STEM, computer science and engineering are among the fields with the highest predicted growth.

Interdisciplinary research has become a hallmark of UGA. Accordingly, the faculty of the School of Computing will also be involved with the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, the Georgia Informatics Institutes, and the University’s 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 Franklin College marks the beginning of an exciting new era for our university.

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