BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 9, 2013 – Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee announces the appointment of Robert T. Sumichrast as dean of the Pamplin College of Business. Currently serving as dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, Sumichrast will begin his appointment at Virginia Tech on July 1.
Sumichrast will succeed Richard E. Sorensen, who will retire June 30 after 31 years of service as dean of the Pamplin College.
“Robert Sumichrast is an accomplished and highly respected leader in business education, bringing with him dean-level experience from two other prominent business schools. He brings a depth and breadth of experience that will serve the college and university well, and he will be a highly effective advocate for the college both within the university and with the broader community,” said McNamee. “He emerged as the leading candidate among an exceptional pool of business school leaders. He joins a dedicated and talented team of administrators, faculty, and staff, and I look forward to working with him to further enhance the distinction and prominence of the college.”
Sumichrast, who began his faculty career here in 1984, said: “Virginia Tech has made outstanding progress over the past decade, and I am honored to have been selected to lead its Pamplin College. There are many opportunities to enhance Pamplin’s programs through collaboration within and beyond the university. I am confident that Pamplin’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni are looking forward to building on the strong base the college enjoys today.”
Sumichrast taught for almost 20 years at Virginia Tech, including serving for four years as Pamplin’s associate dean for graduate and international programs. He left in 2003 to become dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. While there, his efforts significantly elevated the reputation of the college, in addition to strengthening international programs and development efforts.
As dean at the University of Georgia, a position he assumed in 2007, Sumichrast is noted for leveraging strong collaborations with departments outside the business college, improving education and research programs, increasing services to students, and expanding the scope and success of alumni relations and development for the college.
Sumichrast holds several leadership positions in professional organizations. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and as vice chair of its initial accreditation committee. He also chairs the AACSB task force on doctoral education. Sumichrast also serves as a board member for the Southern Business Administration Association. He has participated in multiple accreditation review teams over the past several years.
He has been honored for first-place papers by both the Decision Sciences Institute and the southeastern chapter of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) and has received the chapter’s Outstanding Service Award.
Sumichrast received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in management science from Clemson University.
Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. Pamplin emphasizes technology and analysis that improve business, entrepreneurship that leads to innovation and innovative companies, international opportunities for learning and research, and an inclusive, collaborative community. It is named in honor of two alumni: the late Robert B. Pamplin, retired chairman of Georgia-Pacific, and businessman, author, and philanthropist Robert B. Pamplin Jr.
This article was written by Amy Hogan, assistant provost.