French Appointed to Second Term as Dean

Effective July 1, Steven P. French, dean and John Portman Chair of the College of Design, has been reappointed for a second five-year term.

As required by the Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook, a performance review of academic deans occurs at the fifth year of service. In December 2017, Provost Rafael L. Bras appointed a committee to evaluate the progress of the programs under the leadership of Dean French, as well as to review his professional contributions and performance as leader and administrator for the College of Design.

“The committee commended Dean French’s commitment to advocating and honing the ongoing vision for the College of Design, as well as his leadership and investment in increasing enrollment and program offerings within the College, said Bras. “Based on their review, I have offered Dean French reappointment for another term and am glad he has accepted.”

Reviewers praised French for strengthening the College of Design, as well as improving cross-College communication and collaboration. Their report also noted that Dean French’s new and ongoing projects, including the Masters of Real Estate program, have solidly “connected [him] with the alumni, the faculty, the students, and the Atlanta community.” Enrollment growth in the past five years, as well as new degree offerings in the College, helped improve the College culture and helped it move forward overall into a newly refined and robust part of the Institute.

"I'm thrilled and honored to continue as the dean and John Portman Chair of the College of Design at Georgia Tech,” said French. “Design connects creativity to innovation and that gives it an important role within the Institute. I’m very proud of where the College of Design is headed. Our students and faculty tackle complex problems that rarely have just one optimal solution.

“I am grateful to Provost Bras and the review committee for this vote of confidence, and I am thankful to everyone in the College of Design for their continued support," he added. “I'm excited to be part of even more positive change and growth over the next five years and look forward to working with our students, faculty, and staff to create the best technology-oriented design education in the world.”

Chaired by the Dean of Professional Education Nelson Baker, the committee included the following College of Design faculty members:

  • Roger Ball (Professor, School of Industrial Design)
  • Nisha Botchwey (Associate Professor, School of City and Regional Planning)
  • Julie Kim (Associate Professor, School of Architecture)
  • Pardis Pishdad-Bozorgi (Assistant Professor, School of Building Construction)
  • Gil Weinberg (Professor, School of Music)

The review was completed through the committee’s own in-depth assessment along with additional feedback from the College of Design faculty, staff, and students; a self-assessment from French; interviews with the College of Design Advisory Board; and a peer evaluation from Georgia Tech’s other academic deans. French’s new appointment extends through June 2023.

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