Dean Robert Sumichrast

Dean Robert SumichrastWhen we were of thinking of leaders to highlight around Pamplin, we knew that we had to highlight Robert Sumichrast, the Dean of Pamplin College of Business.

Dean Sumichrast got his undergraduate degree in Physics from Purdue. Once obtaining his degree from Purdue, he decided to attend Clemson to get his degree in Management Science. Afterwards, he went to Virginia Tech as an assistant professor, and to conduct research. In 1998, he was asked to the Associate Dean of the MBA program in Pamplin. From there, he was contacted by LSU and was offered the position of Dean of Business. After 4 years at LSU, he was then offered to be the Dean of Business at University of Georgia where he served for 6 years. In 2013, an opportunity emerged for him to return to Virginia Tech and be the Dean of Pamplin. Without delay, he jumped at the opportunity and has loved serving as Dean of Pamplin ever since then.

As Dean of Pamplin College of Business, he loves to interact with the students, alumni, and staff. He sees a rapid transformation of more opportunities of collaborations within the districts as he was involved in helping secure the selection of Amazon headquarters in Northern Virginia, and establish the Innovation Campus. “It’s great to be in an environment where there is so much positivity.” He loves how he is able to work with all members of Pamplin College of Business to improve and making hands on changes to the college.

His plans as of right now is to collaborate with others to find a new home for Pamplin College of Business. Moving from Pamplin Hall to the Global Business and Analytics Complex. He sees a bright future for Pamplin College of Business as he aims to enco

To Dean Sumichrast, he sees leadership as being a servant,  “driven to help others and make decisions that are going to benefit others and the organization.” He envisions leaders to be great listeners, as they should aim to get input and advice from others. There are always people to help and give great ideas, and it takes a leader to choose to listen to those ideas.

A goal Dean Sumichrast has for himself and Pamplin College of Business is to serve the students. To give them the education they signed up for, provide opportunities, and serving the community. He cares more about how the students are doing over the growth of the college and the ranking the school has compared to other univeristies.


Post written by Mark Llorens, member of the Pamplin Leadership Development Team