Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Ingrassia, Ph.D. as dean of the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS) effective August 4, 2023. Dr. Ingrassia previously served as the college’s interim dean, a position she held for more than a year.

This appointment is the result of shared governance with the faculty and staff of CHS. While it is customary to conduct a national search for the dean position of such a large college, extensive feedback from stakeholders throughout every level of the unit – and their enthusiastic support for what Dr. Ingrassia has achieved as interim dean – convinced me to defer that decision for two years and appoint her as dean.

Dr. Ingrassia brings 30 years of experience working in CHS and demonstrates a keen understanding of the leadership and relationship-building skills needed to foster the changes necessary to modernize the college and its offerings, increase its enrollment and improve its financial circumstances. Her experience as a faculty member, department chair and college administrator positions her to be a stabilizing figure during a period of transformation for CHS.

Dr. Ingrassia began her career at VCU in 1992 as assistant professor of English, and rose through the ranks of promotion and tenure to become associate professor in 1998 and full professor in 2005. She was appointed chair of the Department of English in 2019.

Dr. Ingrassia’s experience also includes working for seven years (2005-11) in the CHS Dean’s Office where she served as associate dean for academic affairs and executive associate dean for research and graduate affairs. During that period she played a leadership role in the creation of the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, Media, Art, and Text, as well as the Humanities Research Center.

Dr. Ingrassia is also an active scholar, having published seven books in the field of eighteenth-century British literature, with a particular focus on women writers. Her most recent monograph, “Domestic Captivity and the British Subject, 1660-1750” (2022), explores how captivity informed identity, actions and human relationships for white British subjects as represented in fictional texts by British authors from the period. She served a Summer Research Institute Fellowship at Oxford College, Harris-Manchester College over the summer of 2022 and has, during her career, had fellowships from archives such as the Newberry and the William Andrews Memorial Clark and funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

She has provided extensive service to CHS, VCU and professional organizations. She currently serves as chair of the development committee for the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, as a member of the MLA program committee and president of the Eliza Haywood Society. She is a former editor of “Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture,” former book review editor of “Restoration,” and currently serves on the editorial board of “Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature.” 

She earned her Ph.D. in English and master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and her bachelor’s degree in English and classics from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Ingrassia for this appointment!

Best regards,

Fotis Sotiropoulos, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

Categories Leadership Announcements, Provost