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Michael Edward Thomas Papers

Michael Edward Thomas Papers

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Michael Edward Thomas Papers
Identification: MS063
Date: 1983-1989 (bulk 1988-1989)
Size/Quantity: 1.6 linear feet (four document cases)
Language: This collection is written in English.
Creator: Georgia Institute of Technology. Office of the Executive Vice President.
Repository: Archives & Records Management, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract: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.

Biographical/Historical Note

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.

Scope and Content Note

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.

Index Terms

Crecine, John P., 1939-
Education, Higher--United States--Administration.
Educational planning--Georgia--Atlanta.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Faculty.
Thomas, Michael Edward, 1937-

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Please cite Michael E. Thomas Papers (MS063), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.


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

Processing Information

Susan J. Illis and processed these papers in 2004.

Revisions to Finding Aid

March 2006:
  • Finding aid converted from Encoded Archival Description Version 1.0 to Version 2002. April 2010: Finding aid imported into Archivists' Toolkit.

  • Restrictions

    Restrictions: Access


    Restrictions: Use

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

    Other Finding Aids

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

    Container List

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    11Academic Council, 1988-1989
    12Alumni Representatives, 1988
    13Committee Composition, ca. 1988
    14Computer Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1988-1989
    15Computer Committee - Report, 1989
    16Computer Committee - Report - Drafts, 1988-1989
    17Correspondence, 1988
    18Decision Sciences Committee, 1988
    19Discrete Mathematics, 1989
    110Executive Committee, 1988-1989
    111Georgia Tech National Advisory Board, 1988-1989
    112Interim Reports, 1988-1989
    113Interim Reports, ca. 1989
    114International Affairs Committee - General, 1988-1989
    115International Affairs Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1988-1989
    116International Affairs Committee - Report, 1989
    117MIT, 1988



    21New College Committee - Correspondence, 1988-Jan. 1989
    22New College Committee - Correspondence, Feb-Mar 1989
    23New College Committee - Correspondence, Apr-Sep 1989
    24New College Committee - Journal Articles, 1988
    25New College Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1988-1989
    26New College Committee - Report (Final), 1989
    27New College Committee - Reports and Proposals, 1988-1989
    28New College Committee - Vote on Alternative Structures, 1989
    29New Division Committee - Correspondence, 1988-1989
    210New Division Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1988-1989
    211New Division Committee - Reports, 1988-1989
    212New Division Committee - Student Center, 1984-1989
    213Psychology and Organization Behavior Committee, 1988-1989
    214Public Policy and Management Committee - Correspondence, 1988
    215Public Policy and Management Committee - Final Report, 1989



    31Reorganization - Articles, 1983-1989
    32Reorganization - Charge to Faculty, 1988
    33Reorganization - COSALS Reports, 1988
    34Reorganization - Committees, 1988
    35Reorganization - Correspondence, 1988-1989
    36Reorganization - Curriculum Vitae, undated
    37Reorganization - Final Reports of Committees, 1989
    38Reorganization - Final Reports of Committees, 1989
    39Reorganization - Recommendation of Academic Council, 1989
    310Reorganization - Student Representatives, 1988-1989
    311Reorganization - Student Survey, 1989
    312Science Committee - Correspondence, 1988-1989
    313Science Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1988-1989
    314Science Committee - Reports, 1988-1989
    315Science Committee - Reports, 1988-1989
    316Social Sciences, Philosophy, and Cultures Committee - Correspondence, 1987-1989
    317Social Sciences, Philosophy, and Cultures Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1989



    41Social Sciences, Philosophy, and Cultures Committee - Reports, 1987-1988
    42Steering Committee - Correspondence, 1988-1989
    43Steering Committee - Meeting Minutes, 1988-1989
    44Steering Committee - Reports and Opinion Pieces, ca. 1988-1989