The University of Lynchburg has named Dr. Sabita Manian dean of the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences. Manian, who is a professor of international relations and security studies, previously served as associate dean of the School of Social Sciences and will continue that post for the spring semester.
“As a faculty member since 2001, Dr. Manian has embraced our scholarly community fully and without hesitation,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Allison Jablonski. “She has an extensive track record of working with faculty to develop innovative curricula and interdisciplinary programs, and she has demonstrated a willingness to rethink the significance of the humanities and social sciences.
“Her own scholarship and publications exhibit innovative approaches to teaching and research. As the associate dean of the School of Social Sciences, Dr. Manian has built trust and open communication channels and demonstrated her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will continue to be a strong leader in her new role.”
Manian is aware of the honor — and responsibilities — that come with the position, which has been vacant since July 2021.
“I feel incredibly honored that a selection committee of my distinguished colleagues chose me and placed their trust in me to represent our campus and serve as a champion of the arts and sciences,” she said.
“They have entrusted me with … a position with newly expanded responsibilities beyond the current four schools — the Sciences, the Social Sciences, the Humanities, and Visual and Performing Arts.”
Manian added that she looks forward to serving as a liaison to administrative University offices, including enrollment, advancement, institutional data, analytics and effectiveness, career services, and others. Her responsibilities will also include Lynchburg’s general education program, general studies and liberal arts studies, and the Center for Global Engagement.
“I’m eagerly looking forward to collaborating with our chairs, deans, and faculty colleagues in reshaping our College to bring about exciting, pragmatic, and meaningful cross-disciplinary, student-centered programs anchored in the liberal arts, even as we address shifting demographics and varying structural demands,” Manian said.
“As a staunch advocate of faculty and shared governance, I expect to build on trust and open channels of communication, encouraging faculty and administrators to forge new directions that complement the current system in the primary interest of students and our institution’s progress.”
Manian holds a PhD and a master’s in international relations from Tulane University and a BA from St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta, India. Following her tenure at Stephens College in Missouri, she began her teaching career at the University of Lynchburg, then Lynchburg College, in 2001. She also has served as the president’s inaugural Faculty Fellow for Equity and Inclusion, chair of political science and international relations, and chair of the Liberal Arts Studies program.
One of her most prized accomplishments is the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, which she received in 2015. She also is the recipient of Lynchburg’s Shirley Rosser Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Thomas Allen Award for Excellence in Advising.
Manian serves as the Fulbright Scholar Liaison and on the advisory board for the Center for Community Engagement at Lynchburg. She is the coauthor of the 2010 book “Sex Trafficking: A Global Perspective” and has written dozens of journal articles, book chapters, academic papers, and public lectures on human security, identity and diaspora politics, ethnic politics, foreign policies, and gender politics relating to Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
She has presented academic papers nationally and internationally in Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Belgium, China, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guyana, Guadeloupe, India, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Saint Lucia, and the U.K.
Manian also serves on the boards of RUSH Homes, Stepping Stones for Global Development, and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, where she is the Lynchburg city representative.