A search committee has been formed to oversee the process of selecting the next dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture, Arts, and Design (AAD).

The new dean of the college will set the academic tenor, promote the diversity and breadth of disciplines across AAD, and take a servant leadership approach to working with faculty, staff, and partners to build upon the college’s core strengths. This leader also will possess high emotional intelligence and skill as a facilitator, lead college fundraising efforts, and represent AAD to the university and beyond.

The new AAD dean will replace Rosemary Blieszner, who has served as interim dean since August 2021, when Richard Blythe left Virginia Tech for a position at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

As the result of a recent reorganization of the college and several of its programs, AAD’s new dean will have an opportunity to lead a college that offers greater visibility for arts, design, and architecture programs at Virginia Tech by grouping them together and locating studio and performance-based instruction in one college. Through the collaborative efforts of college and academic program leaders as well as faculty and administrative staff from many areas of the university, the reorganization and realignment of programs has positioned AAD to partner more closely with like-minded disciplines and enhance their national visibility.

Alan Grant, dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life 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:

  • John Ambrosone, associate professor and chair of theatre, School of Performing Arts
  • Jackie Bixler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
  • Doug Bowman, professor of computer science and director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction
  • Jason Crafton, associate professor and chair of music, School of Performing Arts
  • Eiman Elgewely, assistant professor of interior design, School of Design
  • Michael Ermann, professor of architecture, School of Architecture
  • Aki Ishida, associate professor of architecture and interim associate director, School of Architecture
  • Devair Jeffries-Lee, program director for Arts@VirginiaTech, Office of the Associate Provost for the Arts, Moss Arts Center
  • Paul Kelsch, associate professor of urban design, School of Architecture
  • Mintai Kim, professor of landscape architecture, School of Design
  • Ann-Marie Knoblauch, associate professor of art history and director, School of Visual Arts
  • Jeffery Loeffert, professor of music and director, School of Performing Arts
  • Shaila Mehra, assistant dean for diversity, equity, inclusion, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Erin Poff, assistant dean for administration and finance, College of Architecture, Arts, and Design
  • Michelle Raines, administrative manager, School of Performing Arts
  • Liz Scharman, director of administration, Moss Arts Center
  • Eric Standley, professor of studio art, School of Visual Arts
  • Martha Sullivan, associate professor of practice and chair of industrial design, School of Design
  • Sharone Tomer,– associate professor of architecture, School of Architecture
  • Rachel Weaver, associate professor of creative technologies, School of Visual Arts

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 has engaged Parker Executive Search to assist with the process and welcomes nominations for the position. The position description, application/nomination process, and search updates will be posted shortly and be available on the Senior Administrator Search page of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.

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