Gary May Named Dean of the College of Engineering

Following a national search, Gary S. May, alumnus, professor and current chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been appointed as the next dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering, effective July 1.  

Dr. Gary May
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Gary May is the dean of Georgia Tech's College of Engineering. May also chairs the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the High Technology Education Working Group, which is part of the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

“Gary exemplifies the type of leadership qualities we hope to instill in each of our students,” Provost Rafael L. Bras said. “As a faculty member, administrator and representative of Georgia Tech, his impact on his profession and on this institution has been profound.”

May will succeed Don Giddens, who will be stepping down as dean of the College of Engineering, a post he has held since 2002, and retiring from the Institute at the end of June.

As dean, May will assume responsibility for directing the nation’s largest engineering program, one that enrolls nearly 60 percent of Georgia Tech’s student body and is home to about half of its tenured and tenure-track faculty.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a premier institution like the College of Engineering,” said May. “It is truly an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with one of the world’s most respected brands, and I am looking forward to working with faculty across the college to advance the quality of our education and research programs.”

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, May earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech as a student in Georgia Tech's Cooperative Education Program, a five-year accredited, academic program in which students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of full-time, paid employment directly related to their major. Current College of Engineering Dean Giddens was also a co-op student at Georgia Tech.

For his graduate studies, May pursued both his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Tech as an assistant professor in 1991, achieving full professor status in 2000. Two years later he was tapped by then-President Wayne Clough to serve as his faculty executive assistant, a role that introduced him to administrative responsibilities at an institutional level.

May, who has chaired the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 2005, shared his aspirations for the future of the college during a public presentation last month.

“My vision is to create an environment where anyone with the aptitude and inclination to study engineering will want to come to Georgia Tech,” he said. In partnership with colleagues in the other colleges, he added, “we will build a community of scholars to address the issues and challenges of the world through technology.”

“Gary’s record of scholarship, his collaborative nature and his tireless mentorship to students are admirable,” President Bud Peterson said. “We are very excited about the future of engineering education and research at Georgia Tech under Gary’s leadership.”

Bras thanked the members of the search committee for their service, as well as the members of the larger campus community who participated in the evaluation process.

“We conducted an international search to identify the best possible candidates to lead our largest academic unit,” Bras said. “That the final choice for this most important and desirable position is one of our own , as a graduate, professor and academic leader, speaks to the excellence of Georgia Tech."

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