Laura Belmonte

Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences will have a new dean starting in the fall, the university announced Thursday.

Laura Belmonte, associate dean for instruction and personnel at Oklahoma State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, will start her Tech job Aug. 1.

“I am honored to lead a college with a remarkable legacy of outstanding research and innovative teaching addressing all facets of the human experience,” Belmonte said in a news release. “I’m thrilled to support Virginia Tech’s visionary leadership and world-class partners and people in advancing knowledge, improving society, and celebrating diversity.”

Belmonte replaces Rosemary Blieszner, a longtime Tech administrator and professor who took over as dean of the college in 2017. She will return to a faculty position as an alumni distinguished professor when Belmonte begins.

“Rosemary’s leadership and service to our College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences as dean has been exemplary,” Tech President Tim Sands said in the news release. “She has distinguished herself as a leader, academician, and advocate for the college.”

Blieszner was thrust into her role after the departure of previous dean Elizabeth Spiller for the University of California, Davis in 2017.

Belmonte’s background is in history.

She’s been a history professor at Oklahoma State since 1996 and previously served as the history department head before her associate dean role. Belmonte was also co-founder of the university’s American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies programs.

She received her bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the university of Georgia and her doctorate from the University of Virginia.

Belmonte’s starting salary is $300,000.

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Robby Korth covers higher education, primarily Virginia Tech.

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