Chair’s Message | A ‘Historic’ Faculty Meeting

January 29, 2021 

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community, 

I thought you’d like a peek at the first ever SCP faculty meeting, which took place on Tuesday. These are some of the people who are helping design the programs, labs, courses, and other experiences that will define the home of cybersecurity and privacy at Georgia Tech.  

I’ve attended a lot of faculty meetings in my career. They tend to be business-like. Calling these sessions “faculty meetings” is a little misleading. Everyone who is involved with a department’s operation — not just classroom instructors — is invited. There are committee reports, votes, task assignments. Plans are made for new research proposals. The chair makes administrative announcements. Occasionally, a long simmering dispute will erupt into an actual debate. In short, they are necessary and important gatherings, but they are seldom memorable. I will remember this one. 

Recall that six months ago there was no School of Cybersecurity and Privacy. All the people you see in the screenshot (and the dozen or more others who were there but not on screen) were doing other things in other schools and laboratories that had a piece of Georgia Tech’s cybersecurity action. Now they are designing the school’s curriculum, examining job applications from around the world, deciding which PhD students to admit, and working with our many sponsors and partners. Here are a few of the highlights. 

  • External collaborations and engagement: Gloria Greissman talked about anticipating the needs of external organizations and ensuring we have programs in place to address those needs. 
  • Online Master’s in Cybersecurity: Milton Mueller’s overview of the policy track in the current master’s degree program explained the challenges in blending technical courses with fields that are more focused on legal, governmental, and human problems. 
  • Curriculum: Annie Antón and Sy Goodman presented the first timeline for undergraduate cybersecurity education. The curriculum committee’s aggressive schedule is to have an undergraduate degree ready for the start of the fall semester. 
  • Recruiting: Although we begin with a core of committed faculty members, Wenke Lee, chair of the SCP hiring committee, reports a strong response to ads for new faculty members in many key subspecialties. 
  • Governance: Peter Swire reported on the results of his committee’s analysis of policies used internally and by other institutions related to faculty governance and appointments. 

After the virtual gathering, Annie Antón said this was a “historic” first general faculty meeting. I appreciate the sentiment and hope it carries forward as we take the next steps. The meeting was a prelude to the school’s first faculty retreat in February, which will be an important and tangible opportunity for faculty to have a voice in defining the school and its approach to cybersecurity and privacy education and research. 

Thanks for reading and please visit the school online for ways to engage and learn about all the dynamic activities faculty and students are involved in.  


Richard DeMillo  
Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computing 
Chair, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy  

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Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde