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Christa Acampora to serve as Dean of College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Acampora will officially assume the position Sept. 1

<p>Acampora will officially begin the position Sept. 1.</p>

Acampora will officially begin the position Sept. 1.

After completing a search for a new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University announced Thursday that Prof. Christa Acampora will fill the position beginning Sept. 1. Acampora succeeds Provost Ian Baucom in the role and replaces Interim Dean David Hill. 

Acampora is currently deputy provost and professor of philosophy at Emory University, where she specializes in modern European philosophy, moral psychology and aesthetics. 

Acampora said she is excited to join the University faculty during such a pivotal time.

"I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to lead Arts and Sciences at a time when U.Va. is charting an ambitious path forward," Acampora told UVAToday. “The vision outlined in the 2030 Plan and other key documents such as the 'Audacious Future' report aligns with my aspirations for the school. I see transformative potential for Arts and Sciences in terms of faculty recruitment and advancement, student support and engagement and innovative scholarship.”

In an email sent to students in the College Thursday, Baucom noted that Acampora was selected by a search committee composed of both faculty members and students. The committee included Sarah Kucenas, professor of biology and director of the program in fundamental neuroscience, Graduate Student Council President Aaron Thompson and former Student Council president Abel Liu — as well as various other members of the University community.

University President Jim Ryan expressed his gratitude for the search committee and his excitement for the future.

“Christa will bring many strengths to the role, both as a brilliant scholar and a strong leader, and it is a pleasure to welcome her to the U.Va. community,” Ryan said.

In her previous role as deputy provost at Emory, Acampora oversaw academic program development, faculty recruitment and retention and initiatives to promote student well-being. She was also in charge of maintaining academic continuity in the shift to online classes during the pandemic.

Acampora also led hiring efforts in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, in addition to launching the Hatchery, an innovation center for student entrepreneurs. She assisted in the search for the director of a new undergraduate center and prepared lower-resourced students for opportunities in advanced research.

Acampora emphasized her passion for all things research-related.

"I encourage colleagues to think of best practices to cultivate research in a broad sense, because research, inquiry and discovery take many forms," Acampora explained. "From the laboratory sciences to artistic and creative expression, all research and scholarship can benefit from strong infrastructure and institutional capacity-building."

Laura Galloway, associate dean for the sciences and Commonwealth professor of biology, will serve as interim dean from Aug. 8 until Acampora’s official Sept. 1 start date. 

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