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The provost's office provides support and oversight to searches for senior level academic leaders. Information on current searches, candidates, and campus and community participation in the search process can be found here.

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Dean of the Graduate School

Virginia Tech community invited to Open Forums for vice president and dean of the Graduate School finalists

The search committee for Virginia Tech’s next vice president and dean of the Graduate School invites the campus community to participate in Open Forum sessions for the three finalists who will take part in virtual visits to Virginia Tech later this month.

The vice president and dean has leadership responsibility for all budgetary, admissions, and program development operations of a centralized Graduate School, and serves as a member of the executive vice president and provost’s leadership team as well as an advisor to several graduate student organizations. The new vice president and dean will replace Karen DePauw who announced her retirement last year after a distinguished 18-year career at Virginia Tech.

Don Taylor, executive vice provost and chair of the search committee, invites all members of the campus community to meet the candidates selected for virtual Open Forum discussions. Each candidate will share their perspectives for “A Vision for the Future of Graduate Education: Key Opportunities for Virginia Tech.” Questions may be submitted via email during the live discussions and feedback on the candidates can be shared with the search committee following each session.

Jennifer Roberts

Roberts currently serves as vice provost for Graduate Studies at the University of Kansas (KU). While building a strong research program, training students, and creating innovative curricula in her teaching, Roberts has also served in a variety of administrative roles at the department, college, and university levels. In all of these capacities, Roberts has managed and achieved objectives by collecting and analyzing data, incorporating input from all stakeholders to design shared goals, and encouraging broad-based teamwork based on mutual respect.

Prior to her role as vice provost, Roberts served as professor and chairperson for KU’s Department of Geology, and a postdoctoral associate with the U.S. Geological Survey-Water Resources Division. She holds a Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in geology from Trinity University.

Jennifer Roberts CV (PDF)

Aimeé Surprenant

Surprenant is the associate vice president (academic) and dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Surprenant is responsible for facilitating all aspects of graduate education for over 4,000 Memorial University graduate students – a cohort that makes up 20 percent of the university’s total student body. Her duties range from recruitment of graduate students through to convocation, and Surprenant believes that graduate education requires an advocate who can speak and work for all graduate faculty, students and programs.

Prior to serving as associate vice president and dean at Memorial University, Surprenant was interim associate dean of Science (Administration and Undergraduate). She is also a professor in the Department of Psychology. Surprenant earned a Ph.D., master in philosophy, and master of science degree from Yale University.

Aimeé Surprenant CV (PDF)

William Graves

Graves is the dean of the Graduate College at Iowa State University and a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His academic ethos is deeply rooted in the land-grant tradition of teaching, research, and outreach. Under Graves’ leadership, the Graduate College prioritizes enrollment management, student wellbeing, interdisciplinary training, strong mentor-mentee relations, databased assessment, and innovative professional-development programming in communications, career services, and leadership.

Prior to his role as dean, Graves served as associate dean of the Graduate College and was a visiting professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and master of science and bachelor of science degrees from Iowa State University.

William Graves CV (PDF)

The university seeks a leader for graduate education who will capitalize on its substantive strengths and help promote innovation, growth, and continued excellence in graduate education and research.

This is an exciting inflection point at Virginia Tech. Over the past 20 years, the Graduate School has reshaped graduate education at Virginia Tech, becoming a world-class hub for transdisciplinary graduate education with the development of the Transformative Graduate Education initiatives, the Graduate Life Center, and the new Innovation Campus. The next Dean will be charged with developing and executing a strategy that builds upon this innovation, with a focus on building new and innovative graduate programs that attract students and external funding, and with an emphasis on excellence in graduate education across the university.

The next Dean will bring exceptional leadership skills and a depth of experience in academic administration, a strong and innovative vision for the future of graduate education, a history of creating robust interdisciplinary partnerships, and energy and enthusiasm for promoting the work of the graduate school. The Dean will play a public role with university, state, regional, national, and international stakeholders to further the mission of graduate education and advocate for resources and support for its important work.

Building on its motto, Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—an institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. The institution seeks candidates who adopt and practice their Principles of Community, which are fundamental to the university’s ongoing efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of qualified candidates to join its community in preparing leaders for a diverse, global society and encourages individuals across racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other identities to apply.

A search committee with representation from across the university has been convened to conduct the search and to recommend finalists to the Executive Vice President and Provost of Virginia Tech. The Search Committee will begin reviewing candidates immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Office for Equity and Accessibility at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.