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Michael Edward Thomas Papers

Identifier: MS063

  • Staff Only


In 1988, under the leadership of then-President John Patrick Crecine, a restructuring plan was undertaken to prepare for the future of Georgia Tech as it continued to develop as a dominant technical institution. Michael E. Thomas, then acting executive vice president, was deeply involved in the academic restructuring. These papers, including correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, and proposals, document the reorganization of Georgia Tech.


  • 1983-1989 (bulk 1988-1989)
  • Majority of material found within 1988 - 1989


General Physical Description note

(four document cases)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


1.6 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Michael Thomas Papers are composed of meeting minutes, proposals, correspondence, and interim and final reports detailing the efforts of individuals and groups in their support of a restructuring plan for Georgia Tech to make it better prepared for the future as a top-class technological institution committed to students, faculty, and expanded research. Each of the committees is represented through meeting minutes, correspondence, and reports. These papers do not document any other of Dr. Thomas's activities during his long tenure with Georgia Tech.

Biography of Michael E. Thomas

Dr. Michael E. Thomas came to Georgia Tech in 1978 from the University of Florida. Former professor and department chair of the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IsyE), he helped lead the school to national prominence. Thomas was special assistant to the president for academic affairs and acting director of the Manufacturing Research Center. In the late 1980s, under the presidency of John Patrick Crecine, Thomas served as acting executive vice president, responsible for overseeing Tech's academic restructuring, which resulted in the formation of three new colleges and numerous new degree programs. In addition, he helped to oversee the implementation of many of these degree programs; created new promotion, tenure and reappointment standards; and managed the Institute's budgeting process.

In 1988, newly arrived President Crecine laid the groundwork for a reorganization effort to establish a structure that would bring Georgia Tech resources into non-traditional areas and enhance their accessibility in traditional areas; provide a structure relevant to education and degree programs that would better prepare students to enter a world that is constantly changing; and to strengthen areas of weakness as a technical institution in order to move into the class of top-ranked technical institutions in the world. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni who were involved in the reorganization were divided into several committees: Computer Committee; Decision Science Committee; International Committee; New College Committee; New Division Committee; Public Policy and Management Committee; Psychology/Organizational Behavior Committee; Science Committee; Social Sciences, Philosophy and Cultures Committee; and Steering Committee.

Prior to the reorganization, Georgia Tech was organized into four colleges: Architecture, Engineering, Management, and Sciences and Liberal Studies (COSALS). The plan eliminated COSALS, which previously housed computing, English, natural sciences and social sciences, but created the College of Computing, the College of Sciences, and the new College, which eventually became the Ivan Allen College of Management, Policy, and International Affairs. The new college contained the former College of Management, which was reduced to a school within the new college (President Wayne Clough created a new College of Management in 1998), as well as new schools that offered degrees in the humanities and social sciences, with special emphasis on how these disciplines interact with technology. This change, a somewhat radical one, upset many individuals at Tech; the reorganization was approved by a margin of eleven votes among the entire faculty body. The Ivan Allen College celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2001.

After serving in the position of acting executive vice president for a year, Thomas became Tech's chief operating and academic officer, overseeing all academic and most administrative areas. In the early 2000s, Dr. Thomas stepped down from his position as provost to become executive director of the Center for Internet Research, Policy and Application.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Dr. Michael Thomas donated these papers. Accession #1989.0901 (old number: 89-09-01).

General Physical Description note

(four document cases)

Processing Information

Susan J. Illis and processed these papers in 2004.

Inventory of the Michael Edward Thomas Papers, 1983-1989 (bulk 1988-1989)
Susan J. Illis and Germaine Schanzmeyer
Copyright 2002.
Description rules
Finding Aid Updated Using Rlg Best Practice Guidelines For Encoded Archival Description
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA