Virginia Sapiro, a political scientist and women’s studies scholar with strong views about how a liberal arts education helps build informed citizens, became dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences on July 1. She was most recently vice provost for teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she chaired both the department of political science and the women’s studies program and served as interim provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs.
The first female dean in the 134-year history of Arts and Sciences, Sapiro spoke with BU Today about the responsibilities of the university, the need for liberal arts education, and the ways political activism shaped her views as a scholar. In this segment, she discusses the challenges Boston University faces and the opportunities that lie ahead. “One of the things I find exciting about BU is a rare sense of real optimism, and real excitement, about where it’s going,” she says.