Saonee Sarker, professor in the Department of Informatics in the School of Economics and Management at Lund University, has been named the next dean of the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

Saonee (pronounced Sha-o-nee) Sarker will officially step into her new role on July 1, succeeding Roberta "Robin" Russell, who has served as interim dean since July 2022.

“Saonee’s strong academic leadership experience, global perspective, and commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse community of business faculty is well aligned with the goals and priorities of the Pamplin College of Business and the university,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke. “I look forward to her joining our leadership team and supporting her efforts to lead the college and advance Virginia Tech’s land-grant mission and global reputation.”

Sarker has been a professor in the Department of Informatics in the School of Economics and Management at Lund University since 2021. She is also a visiting professor in the Department of Management at the London School of Economics.

Previously, Sarker was at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce from 2013-21, where she held many roles including senior associate dean for academic affairs, area coordinator of IT, Rolls Royce Commonwealth Commerce Professor, and professor of IT.

At Washington State University, Sarker’s 11-year tenure included chair of the Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship; George and Carolyn Hubman Distinguished Professor in Management Information Systems; associate professor of information systems; and Ph.D. program coordinator.

Sarker brings a wealth of research experience to the role. She is director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for MIS Quarterly, serving as an ambassador for DEI initiatives and senior editor emeritus for the journal. She also is senior editor of the Journal of the Association for Information Systems. Among her research interests are smart infrastructure and sustainability, health care information technology and technostress, technology-enabled collaboration, and more.

Sarker earned a bachelor's degree from Lady Brabourne College (Calcutta University), an MBA from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. from Washington State University.

“I am honored to join the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech as its next dean. The college is experiencing tremendous positive momentum, and I look forward to partnering with new colleagues, alumni, and industry partners to advance a world-class business education ecosystem with far-reaching societal impact,” said Sarker.

Russell, who has served the college as interim dean during the search following the retirement of Dean Robert Sumichrast, will retire after a 40-year career at Virginia Tech.

“I would like to thank Robin Russell for her outstanding leadership and guidance as interim dean and for continuing to elevate the Pamplin College of Business during this transition. I know that she will continue to be a valuable resource for the new dean and will advocate for and support the college’s future growth and success,” said Clarke.

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