Gary Chapman, senior lecturer at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, associate director of the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and internationally recognized expert on Internet policy, telecommunications and technology policy, died of an apparent heart attack Dec. 14 in Guatemala, according to his family.
“The LBJ School has lost a beloved colleague, inspirational teacher and wonderful friend. Gary was a man of shining integrity, whose memory and example we will carry with us,” said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends along with our heart-felt gratitude for a life of such profound contribution. We will miss him dearly.”
Chapman, who joined the LBJ School in 1994, also was director of the school’s 21st Century Project, which explores ways for citizens to be involved in policymaking involving technology, particularly in the areas of telecommunications, the Internet and digital media. He was the author of numerous articles on technology and society for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, The New Republic, The Washington Post, Technology Review, Communications of the ACM and many others. He also was the most recent graduate affairs coordinator for the Master of Public Affairs degree program.
From 1995 to 2001 he was an internationally syndicated columnist on technology for The Los Angeles Times, and his column, called “Digital Nation,” was carried in more than 200 newspapers and Web sites. Chapman was also a technology columnist for Texas Monthly magazine and an editorial columnist for The Austin American-Statesman. He taught and lectured all over the world, most recently as a guest faculty member at the University of Porto in Porto, Portugal.
In early 2000, Chapman was named one of the “25 Most Powerful Texans in High Tech” by Texas Monthly. In 1999, The Austin American-Statesman named him one of its “Ten to Watch.” Chapman has also been chairman of the selection committee for the Turing Award, the world’s highest award in computer science.
From 1984 to 1991, Chapman was executive director of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the only national public interest group of computer scientists. The organization investigated international security, arms control, the role of computers in the arms race, and computers and privacy. In 1991, Chapman co-founded the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference, which is still held annually.
Chapman earned his bachelor’s degree from Occidental College and attended Stanford University’s Political Science Ph.D. program. He was also a former member of the United States Army Special Forces, or “Green Berets.”
Read more about Chapman and his work at the LBJ School.