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Ron Fricker

Interim Dean of Virginia Tech College of Science

Ron Fricker portrait in Torgersen Bridge section of Newman Library
Ron Fricker is the Interim Dean of Science at Virginia Tech.

“The College of Science is dedicated to generating knowledge, making discoveries, and educating the next generation of citizens and scientists. We welcome and respect all people in our quest to advance science for the betterment of humanity.”

Ron Fricker, Interim Dean

Ronald D. Fricker, Jr. became Interim Dean of the Virginia Tech College of Science in January 2021. He joined Virginia Tech in 2015 as the Head of the Department of Statistics and a Professor of Statistics, and has served as the Senior Associate Dean in the College of Science.

With Fricker at the helm, the College is dedicated to teaching students and directing scientific research toward finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, including:

  • Climate change, including coastal flooding and increasingly destructive storms;  
  • Sustainability, including food and water security, protection of the environment, the loss of biodiversity, and clean / low-carbon energy;
  • National and personal security, including nuclear non-proliferation, cybersecurity, social media, and data privacy;
  • Human health, including the elimination of infectious, chronic and drug-resistant diseases, disparities in health care, and healthy aging.

“Science helps us understand the world around us,” Fricker said. “It is a process for learning about nature, and it is focused on creating knowledge that leads to solutions to society’s problems.”

As a member of Virginia Tech’s strategic planning committee, as well as a leader in developing the college’s plan, as interim dean Fricker has kept the college focused and steady in implementing the strategic plan. The College has already begun work by:
  • Creating an Academy of Data Science,
  • Investing in high-impact research opportunities
  • Expanding educational offerings, including establishing a minor in Behavioral and Decision Sciences and laying the groundwork for a Master’s in Data Science
  • Beginning development of a Women in Science Leadership Program.

Fricker has often stated that the heartbeat of the College of Science is its people – faculty, staff, and students – who are passionately engaged in research, teaching, and learning. The College of Science is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and support Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community.  The College welcomes and respects all people in our quest to advance science for the betterment of humanity.