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CSAB is deeply saddened to announce that past Board President Patrick Walsh unexpectedly passed away on March 21. It appears the cause was a massive coronary event. The computing community and Pat’s many friends and colleagues within send sincerest condolences to his wife, Mary; brother, Mike; daughters, Meghan and Shannon; stepsons, Thomas, Brian, and Matthew; and 10 young grandchildren.

Pat was a champion for undergraduate computing education, and was active in CSAB and computing accreditation for more than 30 years. He began as a computer science program evaluator in 1986, shortly after the genesis of accreditation in that field. He went on to become a team chair for the Computer Science Accreditation Commission of CSAB and then the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Pat visited more than 30 colleges and universities during that time. In 2002, Pat was elected Chair of the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and led the commission in that capacity from 2002-2003. He also served as a member of the then-newly formed ABET Accreditation Council for two terms.

Also in the early 2000s, Pat became a member of the CSAB Board of Directors representing the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). A long-time member of ACM, he joined its Education Council in 2006 and regularly attended meetings to report on CSAB’s accreditation activities. In 2007, he was elected CSAB President, and again in 2008. He became a CSAB Fellow in 2010.

During his time as CSAB President, 2007-2009, Pat made it a priority to improve relations and communications among the organization, its member societies, the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and the ABET Board or Directors. He also put a significant emphasis on recognition for volunteer service, nominating many colleagues over the years for CSAB and ABET awards. In addition to several CSAB committees he led, Pat chaired the Executive Director Search Committee in 2008-09, which resulted in the hiring of the current Executive Director.

While serving on the CSAB Board, Pat was also a CSAB-appointed member of the ABET Board of Directors. Between 2005 and 2011, he served on the ABET Finance Committee, ABET Fellows Committee, and ABET Nominating Committee. Also while on the ABET Board, Pat conducted a comprehensive IT Optimization Study of the ABET IT Systems, a pro-bono activity. He became an ABET Fellow in 2012.

Pat retired a few years ago as a Project Executive at IBM after more than 40 years in information systems and telecommunications, including 10 years as the senior information systems manager at IBM manufacturing and development sites, eight years as a project executive for major outsourcing contracts, and two years as a project executive in the United Kingdom. He had expertise in Information Technology Optimization, outsourcing, data center and server relocation and consolidation, applications development and maintenance, and system integration.

Pat earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in Computer Science from the State University of New York, Binghamton; Master of Arts in Mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University; Master of Science in Computer Science from Syracuse University; and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University.

His work at IBM took him around the world and back again, and he enjoyed traveling very much. Following retirement, he and Mary continued to travel, documenting their trips via Pat’s hobby of photography—he was seldom seen without a camera.

In 2015, Pat returned to the accreditation fold, first as a member of the Board of the ABET Foundation, and then as a program evaluator for CSAB.  His first visit return as a PEV was to a university in Kazakhstan. He told colleagues he enjoyed being back on the ground.

Pat was a thoughtful and kind man, known for his sense of humor, his belief in the power of mentoring, his strategic thinking, and his teamsmanship. He was a friend to many and a respected colleague to all. He will be missed dearly by everyone in the computing accreditation community.

Pat Walsh accepting ABET fellow award
Pat Walsh (left) accepting his ABET Fellow award from ABET President Larry Kaye.

CSAB, Inc., a federation of the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society, serves as a member society of ABET, with three representatives on the ABET Board of Delegates. CSAB is the lead society within ABET for accreditation of programs in computer science, cybersecurity, information systems, software engineering, and information technology, and is a cooperating society for accreditation of  programs in computer engineering, biological engineering, systems engineering, and information engineering technology. In the lead society role, CSAB has responsibility for the development of accreditation criteria and for the selection, training, and assignment of program evaluators.

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