Vision and Experience

Distinguished scientist, veteran administrator to lead Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Roger Byrne

Dr. Roger Byrne

Dr. Roger Byrne, an accomplished zoologist with deep administrative experience in curriculum revision, undergraduate research program development and recruitment of exceptional faculty to a public liberal arts institution, joined Longwood as the next dean of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences on July 1.

In his new role, Byrne will lead Longwood’s largest college, with more than 3,000 students and 185 faculty.

A native of Ireland and a graduate of the University of Dublin’s prestigious Trinity College, Byrne received his doctoral degree at Louisiana State University and has published extensively on the physiology of freshwater species.

He comes to Longwood from the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he has served nearly three decades as a teacher, researcher and administrator. His numerous administrative roles include department chair, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and most recently interim dean.

He has been deeply involved in curriculum revisions at Fredonia and also oversaw a pro gram called the Science Education Partnership, which developed initial certificate programs in physics, biology, earth science and chemistry adolescence education—all programs that received national recognition.

Byrne said part of the appeal of Longwood is its commitment to citizen leadership and some of its distinctive programs.

“Being able to produce citizen leaders is quite a complex undertaking,” he said. It goes beyond student-faculty interaction in classrooms, labs and studios to extracurricular activities and even beyond the borders of the university. I was struck by how committed Longwood is to creating an environment in which students from a variety of backgrounds have a transformative experience—the hallmarks of which are engagement with the campus and ensuring that every student has a high-impact experience like an internship or study abroad.”

Byrne’s appointment is the result of a national search.

“The applicant pool was deep, but Dr. Byrne stood out as the candidate who has the vision and experience to lead the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences,” said Longwood Provost Dr. Joan Neff.

Byrne and his wife, Edith, have two adult children.

—Matthew McWilliams