Rosemary Blieszner Named Interim Dean

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Rosemary Blieszner

Alumni Distinguished Professor Rosemary Blieszner has been named interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences following the announcement of the University of California, Davis, that Elizabeth Spiller has been named its new dean of the College of Letters and Science.

“Rosemary is one of a kind and this opportunity is a great fit for her and for Virginia Tech,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thanassis Rikakis. “She not only brings a record of outstanding scholarship in her field, she has a unique and visionary leadership perspective that will be a true asset to this college and the university.

“The range of roles she holds at the university — Alumni Distinguished Professor, associate dean of the graduate school, liaison to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and co-chair of the Beyond Boundaries steering committee — not only demonstrates her strong leadership capabilities, but gives her valuable insight into the current perspectives and future needs of our faculty, staff, and students,” added Rikakis. “She is, above all, passionate about the future success of Virginia Tech, and I look forward to working with her in this capacity.”

“Rosemary is an outstanding leader who has been instrumental in creating our vision for Virginia Tech’s future, and I am confident she will excel as the interim dean of the college,” added President Tim Sands. “Her ability to guide complex teams through change is exemplary, as is her passion for excellence. Her work with the Beyond Boundaries steering committee has surpassed my expectations and provided the framework for our journey forward.”

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1981, Blieszner was named Alumni Distinguished Professor of Human Development in 2002. In 2014, she was elected president of the Gerontological Society of America, the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. Her scholarship includes writing or editing six books, 41 book chapters, and 75 peer-reviewed journal articles.

In addition, Blieszner has served as associate dean of the Graduate School since 2009 and was associate director of the Center for Gerontology for more than 30 years.

“The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is a strong college that serves its mission well and cares about students, faculty, and staff,” said Blieszner. “I am thankful to Dean Spiller for providing her expertise in shaping strong and significant programs in the arts, humanities, and human sciences. I am excited for this opportunity to guide the college under the vision and direction of our president and provost.”