Mark Sikes will return home to Hokie Nation as Virginia Tech’s next dean of students, effective Jan. 17.

“It is always such a pleasure to welcome back a fellow Hokie to Blacksburg," said Frances Keene, interim vice president for Student Affairs. "As I have gotten to know Dr. Sikes, his commitment to student success and well-being is evident. The Virginia Tech community will appreciate his proactive nature as he fosters an empathetic and inclusive environment for student support and advocacy."

With his appointment, outgoing interim dean of students Martha Glass will return to her previous role as assistant vice president for administration for Student Affairs. Glass will work closely with Sikes to accomplish a smooth transition in leadership during the spring semester.

“I am deeply grateful for Dr. Glass and her willingness to serve as dean of students,” said Keene. “She is an exceptional educator and leader, which made her time in the interim role more than a period of stability, but of growth. Her extensive administrative background and profound ability to make meaningful and empathetic connections have tremendously supported our students."

Sikes, with over 25 years of experience in higher education, previously served as the vice dean for student success at William & Mary since 2018 and the associate dean of students from 2007-18. Also, during his tenure at William & Mary, he served as interim dean of students from 2021 to 2022. Prior to these roles, Sikes' work focused on the first-year experience and student life at Gettysburg College and residential life at Towson University and Virginia Tech.

“Dr. Sikes places students, their well-being, and their success at the heart of his work,” said Ginger Ambler, William & Mary vice president for student affairs. “Having served in progressively responsible roles in the Dean of Students Office at W&M over the last 16 years, he brings both a breadth and depth of professional experience to this new role as dean of students at Virginia Tech. He will surely be missed here and we wish him every success.”

Reporting to the interim vice president for Student Affairs, the dean of students is Virginia Tech’s foremost student advocate, leading a team of passionate, student-centered educators who support more than 37,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. With a strong focus on facilitating learning and community with and for students, Sikes and the Dean of Students Office team will work closely with Virginia Tech’s colleges and administrative offices to embrace a focused pursuit of holistic student support and inclusion.

Sikes also will oversee the New Student and Family Programs Office, Services for Students with Disabilities Office, and Student Conduct as well as First-Generation Student Support programs and the Interfaith Initiative.

“As dean of students, my goal is to cultivate an inclusive and supportive community where every student is able to thrive and reach their full potential," Sikes said. "Guided by the university’s motto, Ut Prosim, I am honored that I may serve through as a strong advocate for students and a bridge builder across the institution to advance student success with university leaders, faculty, staff, and student leadership. I will strive every day to create a welcoming and encouraging environment for not just the student body, but for all members of the Virginia Tech community. It is great to be home.”

Sikes holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from William & Mary. He also earned a Master of Arts in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina.

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