Robert T. Sumichrast, professor of business information technology and dean of the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, has been named the Sorensen chair by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Richard E. Sorensen Dean’s Chair was established in 2012 through the generosity of multiple friends of the Pamplin College of Business to honor Sorensen, who served as the college’s dean from 1982 to 2013. The dean’s chair will provide discretionary funds for the dean to use in developing outstanding academic and research programs.

Sumichrast is the first to hold the Sorensen chair, which will be passed to each of his successors. Richard Benson currently holds the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean’s Chair in Engineering.

Sumichrast, who began his academic career at Virginia Tech in 1984, has a distinguished record as an educational leader, scholar, and teacher.

For almost 20 years, Sumichrast taught at Virginia Tech, and served four years as Pamplin’s associate dean for graduate and international programs. He served on 40 graduate committees throughout the university and taught 17 different courses in the Department of Business Information Technology. He is a recipient of Pamplin's Certificate of Teaching Excellence, the University Certificate of Teaching Excellence, and Pamplin's MBA Faculty Award.

In 2003, he left to become dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. In 2007, he became dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, where he forged a reputation 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 and donor relations for the college.

His research includes numerous publications in some of the leading peer-reviewed research journals in the fields of management science and operations management. He has served as president of the southwestern Virginia chapter of the American Production and Inventory Control Society, and president of the southeastern chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science. He is a member of the board of the Southern Business Administration Association, and is a member of the board of directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

Sumichrast received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in management science from Clemson University.