Richard E. Sorensen, dean of the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor and dean emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1982, Sorensen has served as dean of the Pamplin College of Business for 31 years. He provided extraordinary leadership, energy, and vision, and promoted the stature and welfare of the college.

Throughout his tenure as dean, Sorensen taught the Introduction to Business course and established or grew innovative programs within the college, including the Center for Leadership Studies, the college’s international programs, the executive and professional MBA programs, and the Master of Information Technology program.

In addition, Sorensen advanced diversity initiatives throughout the college through the formation of the Business Diversity Center, the undergraduate diversity minor, and through his strong commitment to hiring a diverse faculty for the college.

He has successfully ensured the future of the Pamplin College of Business through significant fundraising accomplishments. He secured the $10 million naming gift for the college that enabled the construction of an addition to the building. He strengthened the Pamplin Advisory Council which brings together alumni and friends of the college to plan for and advance the college’s future initiatives.

A leader in business innovation for Virginia Tech, Sorensen was managing director of the Virginia Tech Business Technology Center, a founding director of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, the chair of the Master of Information Technology Advisory Committee, and a member of the Virginia Business editorial advisory board.

In addition to his role as college dean, Sorensen made substantial contributions to business scholarship and thought through his published work, major academic business journals, conference proceedings, and books.

Sorensen’s contributions to business practice are numerous, including service on several state commissions and councils relating to business and tourism in Virginia and North Carolina, and as a director of or consultant to regional and national corporations.

And Sorensen has provided international leadership in business higher education, as chair of Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), chair of many influential AACSB committees, and through his pro bono consultancy work to historically black college and university business schools.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now Polytechnic University) and an MBA and Ph.D. from New York University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.