Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke has appointed Rosemary Blieszner, Alumni Distinguished Professor and former dean of the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, as the interim dean for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

Blieszner will succeed current College of Architecture and Urban Studies Dean Richard Blythe, who recently announced that he will become pro vice-chancellor of the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, later this year.

Following a period of transition with Blythe beginning in July, Blieszner's appointment becomes effective on Aug. 5.

“Dr. Blieszner brings to this interim appointment her experience serving as a dean of another college and her record of accomplishment as a faculty member,” said Clarke. “As an Alumni Distinguished Professor, she exemplifies excellence in performance across all missions of the university. I have worked closely with her in the past and am confident that together we can support the college in its efforts to build on past achievements to prepare for an exciting future.”

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1981, Blieszner was named an Alumni Distinguished Professor in 2002. She served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences from 2017 to 2019.

“I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other partners in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and to continue the important work of growing and enhancing its outstanding programs,” said Blieszner. “I hope to bring new perspectives to ongoing work in support of the college and the university.”

During her 40-year career at Virginia Tech, Blieszner has helped lead the university’s Center for Gerontology as its associate director and served as associate dean of the Graduate School from 2009 to 2017. She also served as assistant vice provost for enrollment and degree management from 2015 to 2017, director of strategic planning in the Office of the President from 2000 to 2001, and chair of the steering committee of Beyond Boundaries, the visioning initiative launched by President Tim Sands that seeks to tackle complex problems by transcending economic, geographic, social, spatial, and institutional boundaries.  She is recognized internationally for her scholarship in the field of aging and has received numerous teaching awards from Virginia Tech

Blieszner will continue to serve as chair of the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, which leads the planning of the university’s celebration of its 150th anniversary beginning this summer through 2022.

Blieszner holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst University, a master’s degree from Ohio State University, and a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.