UAS lands new provost

Fairbanks educator Caulfield has expertise in rural, Inuit issues

Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The University of Alaska Southeast has hired a new provost, and he'll be moving south to become the Juneau-based school's chief academic officer this spring.

Rick Caulfield will replace Robbie Stell, who has been filling in as provost for nearly a year, Katie Bausler, spokeswoman for the university, announced Tuesday.

Caulfield comes to Juneau from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he is currently community campus director of the school's Tanana Valley campus, she said.

Before that, he had worked even farther north, doing extensive research in Greenland as a visiting scholar. He holds a doctorate in developmental studies and Natural Resources Anthropology from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

Between 1989 and 1992, Caulfield lived with his family in the U.K., Denmark and Greenland while working on his Ph.D. His dissertation research focused on human-environment relationships in Greenland, with special focus on Inuit whaling there.

During his research he became fluent in Danish, and "conversant" in Kalaallisut (Greenlandic Inuit.)

Caulfield's other degrees come from the University of California Berkeley. He began teaching at UAF soon after completing his master's degree in cross cultural education in 1985.

At UAF, Caulfield taught in the school's Bristol Bay campus in Dillingham and has been associate dean of the College of Rural and Community Development and a tenured professor.

"We will miss Fairbanks, but we are excited about our new adventure in beautiful Southeast Alaska. I am looking forward to my new role as chief academic officer at UAS and working under the leadership of Chancellor John Pugh," said Caulfield in a statement provided by UAS.

UAS' provost position has been in flux for some time. Interim provost James Everett stepped down a year ago after a vote of "no confidence" by faculty, and a search for a new provost failed.

Stell, a retired provost, returned to the school at the request of Chancellor John Pugh to stabilize the position.

UAS is part of the University of Alaska system and is headquartered in Juneau, with campuses in Ketchikan and Sitka.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at

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