Three finalists have been selected for campus interviews for the position of dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Last fall, Dean Sue Ott Rowlands announced that she would step down from the position to become vice president for academic affairs and provost at Northern Kentucky University. Joan Hirt is currently serving the college's interim dean.

As part of the interview and selection process for the next dean, Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee invites all members of the campus community to meet the outstanding candidates selected for campus interviews. University and community members are invited to attend each candidate’s open forum presentation on “Opportunities in Education, Research, and Practice for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.” 

The open forum presentations will also be broadcast live online for remote participants, and recordings of the sessions will be available online following each presentation. An informal reception will also be held following each open forum. 

Candidate CVs and survey links to provide feedback will be posted on the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost website in advance of each visit date. The search committee encourages all campus and community members to submit feedback via the online surveys.

March 20-21 – Cristina Della Coletta

Cristina Della Coletta is the associate dean of Humanities and the Arts for the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. She has been a faculty member in Italian at the University of Virginia since 1992, and she has served as director of the Undergraduate Program in Italian and associate chair of the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, in addition to holding a number of other academic leadership roles within the college and university.  

She received a master’s degree in Italian from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Open Forum Presentation and Reception: March 20, 3:30–5 p.m., The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Alumni Assembly Hall

March 25-26 – Janet Murray

Janet Murray is associate dean for research in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and Ivan Allen College Dean’s Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech.  Since joining Georgia Tech in 1999, she has held numerous service and leadership roles, including serving as the founding director of the eTV Lab and director of the graduate program in digital media. Prior to her appointment at Georgia Tech, she spent 28 years in faculty and research roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language, both from Harvard University.

  • Open Forum Presentation and Reception: March 25, 3:30–5 p.m., The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Alumni Assembly Hall

March 31–April 1 – Elizabeth Spiller

Elizabeth Spiller is associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University. A faculty member in the Department of English since 2007, she has also held a number of academic leadership roles at Florida State, including associate chair of the Department of English, director of the History of Text Technologies Program, and chair of the university’s Extraordinary Achievements Faculty Award Committee. Before joining Florida State University, she held faculty and leadership positions at the University of North Texas and Texas Christian University.  

She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English and American Language and Literature, both from Harvard University.

  • Open Forum Presentation and Reception: March 31, 3:30–5 p.m., The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Alumni Assembly Hall