The Dean’s Vision

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Dean Rosemary Blieszner experiences virtual reality at the Cube in the Moss Center for the Arts.
Dean Rosemary Blieszner experiences a virtual-reality exploration of memory loss at the Cube in the Moss Arts Center. The exploration was created by Ivica Ico Bukvic, an associate professor of music composition in the School of Performing Arts, in collaboration with Zachary Duer and Meaghan Dee, both assistant professors in the School of Visual Arts.

As college leader, Rosemary Blieszner wears many figurative and literal hats, including the occasional virtual-reality headset and hard hat. Now she’s donning yet another one: advocate for a worthy successor.

Earlier this month, the university announced the formation of a search committee to select the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Blieszner, who assumed the deanship in March 2017, will be returning to her faculty position next summer. She served in an interim capacity for the first six months, but then the university’s leaders asked her to continue the role in a non-interim capacity through June 2019.

During her tenure as dean, the announcement noted, she has served with distinction and has earned the appreciation of faculty and administrators for moving the college forward.

A faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Family Science since 1981, Blieszner was named an Alumni Distinguished Professor in 2002. The university reserves this preeminent rank for faculty members whose outstanding record of accomplishment in creative scholarship and exceptional contributions to the instructional program of the university have touched the lives of generations of alumni. Only 10 members of the Virginia Tech faculty hold these endowed professorships.

For more than 30 years, Blieszner helped lead the university’s Center for Gerontology as its associate director. She also served as associate dean of the Graduate School for eight years. She further chaired the Steering Committee of Beyond Boundaries, the university’s visioning initiative.

More recently, Blieszner was named chair of the search committee for the university’s executive vice president and provost. Even as she leads that committee, she will continue to advocate for the search for dean of her favorite college.

“This college is a very special one,” she said. “Its faculty conduct award-winning scholarship and research that spans the arts, humanities, social sciences, human sciences, and education. And they provide our students with personalized educational experiences, making the college a supportive academic home within a large university.”

Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will chair the dean’s search committee, which comprises representatives throughout the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences’ departments and schools.

Virginia Tech has engaged Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this search. The search committee welcomes nominations for the position through Isaacson, Miller’s dedicated search website. Confidential inquiries can also be made by calling Greg Esposito, a partner in the firm, at 617-262-6500. The position description and application process will be announced later this fall and will be available through the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.

“As a crucial part of a comprehensive university with internationally recognized strengths in technology and engineering, our college is in a wonderful position to ensure that technologies and policies are in service to humanity,” Blieszner said. “We are looking forward to finding the visionary scholar who can best lead the college forward in this dynamic moment in our history.”