The College offers a warm welcome to Kaye Husbands Fealing who officially assumed her new role as dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech on June 1 and shared a message of optimism with the community. Subsequently, on June 3, to address the racial injustice and response to it unfolding across the country, she wrote a second letter to the College. Both communications are included below.
Husbands Fealing holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She brings to the position decades of research expertise in science and innovation policy, the public value of research expenditures, and underrepresentation among underserved groups in STEM fields and jobs.
She also brings decades of service, and is currently a member of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering and its Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee, as well as working groups within the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
In a message to the College June 1, Dean Husbands Fealing wrote, “I recognize that we are in the midst of challenging times. Our lives and plans continue to be marked by uncertainty. I want you to know that I understand those feelings and I am here to listen to what you have to say.
Despite where things are right now, I do have a strong sense of hope, purpose, optimism, and excitement about our future—the future of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Life has taught me that with challenges come great opportunities. We have great talent in our midst—our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and neighbors. I believe there are many opportunities ahead.
Just a few weeks ago, Georgia Tech shared a new mission: to develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. This strongly points to greater opportunity for Ivan Allen College’s leadership. We will build upon the extraordinary foundation and vision laid by our faculty, staff, students, and of our leaders during the past 30 years including Deans Sue Rosser and Jacqueline Royster. I also acknowledge Interim Dean John Tone, who has sustained the College during the past year and especially during these past three months: he has gathered together our many virtual voices, brought forward our ideas and issues, championed the College, and spoken truth. On behalf of all of us, John, thank you.”
Husbands Fealing is reaching out to get to know College constituents and invites the College community to contact her as well.
“I want to hear about your work and concerns, take care of queries, listen to your insights and input so that we can understand and address issues together. I will do all I can to foster collaborations and creativity, helping us build upon our existing strengths to create new ones.”
She also outlined near term plans.
“My energies in the weeks ahead will focus on planning and resolving obstacles through the summer sessions, and on reentry during the academic year. Together with our wonderful faculty, staff, and students, I know we can push ahead to be our best regardless of circumstances.”
Just a few days later on June 3, following police killings of African Americans, Dean Husbands Fealing wrote a heartfelt letter to the College, widening the dialogue about a way forward.
Pain, Calm, Courage: A Letter from Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing
Dear Ivan Allen College Community,
On Monday, I sent a message indicating my belief in a way forward for our college, and that, despite challenges, we continue to strive to accomplish much.
Today I want to widen the dialogue. I want to talk about pain, calm and courage.
First, let’s acknowledge the pain. Pain that we all feel about what is going on around us and in our own lives. For me, what we see in cities and towns around us—injustice, murder, disrespect, prejudice, racism—flies in the face of safety, justice and equity. This is not new, but the events of the past few weeks make it more present and palpable.
Some of what we are witnessing is difficult to comprehend. There is pain in our hearts regarding the killing of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, the violence against the Spelman and Morehouse students this past weekend, and the list goes on. Countless families are grieving.
That brings me to calm. Feeling calm in the midst of this storm is my way of getting to a place to figure out what to do to make things better. I feel a sense of calm writing this message, because I know that the way forward requires working together with members of our community and neighbors. This isn’t a sense of calm from a cloistered environment. Instead, it is an inner calm that allows me to determine how to take action.
Now we must muster courage. We must not shrink back or become paralyzed by what we see around us. One of the mottos of my family is that we have to run to the fire. We have to use our talents and treasures during these crises to determine how we can be part of the solution. We can do more, we must do more, we can do better.
Pain, calm and courage must now come together to give rise to hope and action. I draw hope from things such as the exemplary actions of what our Student Government Association officers shared through their email message on Monday. I draw hope from Georgia Tech’s ongoing efforts to expand diversity and inclusion. I draw hope from this College’s foundational commitment to social courage and social justice. We can create a better community that embraces our differences. I encourage you to share with me your thoughts on how we can strengthen our community and advance actions committed to safety, justice and equity.
Kaye Husbands Fealing
Dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair
Husbands Fealing came to Georgia Tech in 2014 to serve as chair of the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy in Ivan Allen College. She worked with faculty on numerous initiatives including one to further define the role of public policy at a technological university and presenting the school as “a global leader in foundational knowledge, policies and governance of the scientific, engineering and innovation ecosystem.”
She significantly advanced the School's national profile. During her term as chair, she was elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she also serves on the executive board.
In 2016, Husbands Fealing achieved placement of the School of Public Policy's graduate program in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. The program is among the top 20% in the country, placing as the #45 Overall Best Graduate Program of the 275 ranked programs and #12 in Energy and Environmental Management. (See the school’s full rankings). This is a notable achievement given the School’s small size and its focus on a subset of the substantive policy areas of larger programs.
In recent years, she oversaw the launch of several new graduate programs including the Master of Science in Cybersecurity (Policy), as part of a multi-track program offered at Georgia Tech, the online M.S. in Cybersecurity (Policy), the M.S. in Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management, and the Certificate in Intellectual Property.
She also led continued growth in the School’s research portfolio.
Her previous position post was with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Before that, she served as a study director at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Her career began at Williams College, where she started as assistant professor in the Economics Department and left after 20 years as the William Brough Professor of Economics.
Additionally, she held visiting professorships at Smith College and Colgate University, a research associate position at MIT, and served in several different capacities with the National Science Foundation (NSF) — including program director and science advisor for the Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program, and program liaison with the European Science Foundation. She was also an AT&T Bell Laboratories graduate fellow.
Among her many professional accolades, Husbands Fealing received the 2017 Trailblazer Award from the National Medical Association Council on Concerns of Women Physicians, and has been recognized for outstanding teaching both at Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota.
Welcome Dean Husbands Fealing!