Pamplin College of Business appoints director of international programs

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 24, 2006 – Lance A. Matheson, of Christiansburg, Va., associate professor of business information technology at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business, has been appointed director of international programs in the college, effective Jan. 10, 2007.

Matheson, who currently chairs the college’s international programs committee, has led various programs abroad for many years. He teaches in the Master of Information Technology-India program and leads a two-week program in Austria and Germany in January that brings together Pamplin students and business students from the University of Muenster in Germany to participate in a seminar on top-management decision making.

Matheson received a doctorate in management science, an MBA, and a bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Washington. His primary research interests are in information technology management, the application of new technologies to education, and the use of artificial intelligence to solve manufacturing problems.

In announcing the appointment, Pamplin Dean Richard E. Sorensen said Matheson would be responsible for assisting the college in achieving its ambitious international goals. The college, he noted, has led the university’s efforts in developing an international focus, but “it can do more.”

“We need to increase our emphasis on Pamplin-student participation in dual-degree programs and international internships,” Sorensen said. “We can increase our participation under established bilateral exchange agreements and determine ways to develop relationships in areas of the world that we do not currently serve. We also can better publicize our existing programs with our students.”

The Pamplin College places an emphasis on preparing students to do business globally and join multicultural workplaces. Its faculty members lead study-abroad programs to Asia, Europe, and Africa each summer and in the fall and spring semesters. The college offers a global business minor and scholarship assistance for study abroad. Many of the college’s faculty members have extensive research and teaching experience abroad. Of the university’s 14 Fulbright Award recipients since 2000, five are Pamplin faculty.

The director position, Sorensen said, is a result of the college’s decision to detach the twin duties of the associate dean for graduate and international programs and to establish separate positions — associate dean for graduate programs and director of international programs. Both positions will report directly to the dean. Steve Skripak, the current associate dean, will stay on as associate dean for graduate programs.

Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. The college emphasizes the development of ethical values and leadership, technology, and international business skills. A member of its marketing faculty directs the interdisciplinary Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech. The college’s other centers focus on business leadership, electronic commerce, and organizational performance. The college is committed to serving business and society through the expertise of its faculty, alumni, and students. It is named in honor of Robert B. Pamplin (BAD ’33), the former CEO of Georgia-Pacific, and his son, businessman and philanthropist Robert B. Pamplin Jr. (BAD ’64).