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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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The search committee for Virginia Tech’s next dean of the College of Science invites the campus community to participate in open forum sessions (in-person and virtual) for the four finalists who will visit the campus in November and December.

Lee Learman, dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and chair of the search committee, invites all members of the campus community to meet the finalists through virtual Open Forum discussions. Each finalist will share their perspectives on “A Vision for the Future of Science at the Modern Land Grant University.” Questions may be submitted during the live discussions and feedback on the candidates can be shared with the search committee following each session.

Deborah Thomas

Deborah Thomas

November 17, 2021
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Deborah Thomas is dean of the College of Geosciences and professor of Oceanography at Texas A&M University. Thomas, who specializes in the field of paleoceanography, was instrumental in establishing the R. Ken Williams ’45 Radiogenic Isotope Geosciences Laboratory. She studies the chemical composition of marine sediments to reconstruct past climate with a particular interest in the climate dynamics of globally warm periods of time in earth’s history. Thomas’ honors include being named a Montague Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar and receiving the college-level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching from the Texas A&M Association of Former Students.

Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in geological sciences from Brown University, and a master’s degree in marine sciences and doctoral degree in geological sciences from the University of North Carolina.

Deborah Thomas CV (PDF)

André Hudson

André Hudson

December 8, 2021
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André Hudson serves as head of the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is trained as a biochemist and the major themes of his research are vested in biochemistry and microbiology, specifically, in the areas of amino acid metabolism, structural analyses of enzymes involved in amino acid and bacterial peptidoglycan metabolism. Hudson has served on numerous school, college, and institute committees, including the GSoLS Curriculum Committee, the College of Science Faculty Evaluation and Development Committee (chaired since 2014), and the RIT Isaac L. Jordan Faculty Pluralism Award Selection Committee (chaired since 2013).

Hudson earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Virginia Union University and a Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from Rutgers University.

André Hudson CV (PDF)

Kevin Pitts

Kevin Pitts

December 13, 2021
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Kevin Pitts serves as chief research officer at Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory. He has oversight of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, including advancing scientific excellence across the laboratory through strong communication, and collaboration and coordination with the Department of Energy and other partners. Prior to his role at Fermilab, Pitts spent 22 years at the University of Illinois where he was most recently the vice provost for undergraduate education and a professor of physics in the Grainger College of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Physics Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Pitts received a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Anderson University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oregon.

Kevin Pitts CV (PDF)

Chris Poulsen

Chris Poulsen

December 15, 2021
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Chris Poulsen is associate dean of Natural Sciences for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on large-scale climate change through Earth history. Poulsen and his research group investigate how and why climate has changed using state-of-the-art climate models, and the implications for future climate change. They also explore surface-atmosphere interactions through modeling and field-based observations of water isotopes. In addition to serving as associate dean, Poulsen is a professor in and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and a professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering.

Poulsen earned a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University.

Chris Poulsen CV (PDF)

The next Dean of the College of Science will have the opportunity to build on degree programs that cut across disciplines and further develop an innovative curricular structure that creates an educational continuum for students interested in solving complex real-world problems. Born out of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2003 to promote and unite the sciences at Virginia Tech, the College of Science is home to world-class faculty across eight departments, a school, and two academies that sit at the nexus of interdisciplinary relationships at Virginia’s most comprehensive university. In addition to research partnerships and curricular innovations, the college fulfills a service and teaching mission that is critical to the success of other colleges and the university as a whole.

The dean will join Virginia Tech at an exciting time of transition. The university’s 16th president, Timothy D. Sands, who began his tenure in 2014, has led the university community in a generational visioning process to ensure Virginia Tech’s position as a global land-grant university leader. This has been followed by university- and college-level strategic planning that seeks to build on the key opportunities the university currently has to make meaningful and visionary progress in the coming years.  

For its College of Science, Virginia Tech seeks an energetic leader, strategic thinker, relationship builder, and strong communicator who will broaden the role of the college throughout the university without diluting the fundamental strengths that have been so integral to its past success. The dean will continue to build strategic growth areas, identify new opportunities for growth, and advocate for the college and the important role it plays in the university’s research, outreach, and education mission. The right candidate will have a strong record of relevant research and scholarship success and the ability to lead complex organizations. The dean will also be adept at championing the college externally to donors and alumni, as well as state, national, and international leaders.

Building on its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—an institutional and individual commitment to 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.

Virginia Tech has finalized the search committee tasked with overseeing a national search for the next dean of the Pamplin College of Business.

As the head of the college, the dean sets the academic tenor, promotes a culture of outstanding innovation and scholarship, and represents its faculty, students, and staff to the university and beyond. The dean also has financial and administrative management responsibility for the college, guides and oversees its annual operating budget, advocates to the central administration for investment in new initiatives, leads its fundraising efforts, and provides effective leadership for the college’s faculty and administrative staff.

The new dean will replace Robert Sumichrast, the Richard E. Sorensen Chair and dean of the Pamplin College of Business since 2013, who announced his retirement in August. Sumichrast will officially retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

Laura Belmonte, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will chair the search committee and guide the application/nomination, candidate review and interview, campus engagement, and finalist selection processes. Search committee members are as follows:

  • Laura Belmonte – dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (chair)
  • Viswanath (Venki) Venkatesh – professor, Business Information Technology
  • Nancy McGehee – professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Jonathan Everett – assistant professor of practice, Real Estate
  • Broderick Turner – assistant professor, Marketing
  • Beth Osborne – director of finance
  • Misty Blankenship – administrative academic manager, Marketing
  • France Belanger – University Distinguished Professor, Accounting and Information Systems
  • Richard (Rick) Hunt – associate professor and director of doctoral studies, Management
  • Quinton Nottingham – associate professor, Business Information Technology
  • Sarah Stein – associate professor, Accounting and Information Systems
  • Yessenia Telez – assistant professor, Finance
  • Raman Kumar – professor, Finance
  • Anna-Katherine (A.K.) Ward – associate professor, Management; faculty senator and college Faculty Association president
  • Michelle Harding – assistant professor, Accounting and Information Systems
  • Linda Christie – director, Center for Business Analytics
  • Bridget Ryan Berman – chair, Pamplin Advisory Council Cabinet
  • Dana Hansson - director, MBA programs
  • Phil Xiang – professor and head, Feiertag Hospitality and Tourism Management Department

The search committee will be supported by a staff that includes Amy Hogan, assistant provost for Leadership Initiatives, and Leslie Sullivan, coordinator for Faculty Affairs.

Virginia Tech is also in the process of securing a search firm that will assist with this search process and will solicit and receive nominations for the position. The position description, application/nomination process, and search updates will be posted shortly.