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Executive Vice President and Provost

Dr. Samuel B. Mukasa joined ESF in November 2021 as executive vice president and provost after distinguished leadership service at the University of Michigan (UM), University of New Hampshire (UNH) and University of Minnesota (UMN). He had most recently been the lead in the Provost's Office at Minnesota for Global Academic and Research Initiatives in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), focusing particularly on the global south and Asia.

As dean at UMN, Mukasa was chief executive officer and chief academic officer for the College of Science and Engineering, the university's second-largest college, which spans 12 departments and 20 interdisciplinary research centers, and is ranked among the top engineering and science academic programs in the country. He provided strategic and intellectual leadership and administrative oversight of the college and worked to advance its research, teaching and service.

Mukasa previously served as dean for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Eric J. Essene Professor of Geochemistry at UNH. In that capacity, he led the development of a strategic plan for the college, initiation of new undergraduate degree programs, hiring of several faculty clusters to enhance interdisciplinary scholarship, and fundraised to revitalize and build new teaching and research infrastructure. Prior to his role at UNH, he spent 21 years on the faculty at UM, where he was chair of the Department of Geological Sciences (now the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences).

Mukasa holds a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.S. in geology from the Ohio State University and a B.S. in geology from UNH. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York and earned a Leadership in Higher Education certificate from the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) at Harvard University. He also received a D.Sc. honorary degree from Nkumba University, Entebbe, Uganda, when he served as commencement speaker.

Mukasa is a highly regarded researcher in geochemistry, geochronology and petrology. His geochemical research in Antarctica, the Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean and many other regions of the world has helped to shed new light on the evolution of continents and deep-time changes in Earth's climate system. He has served as president of the Geochemical Society and as Council member for the American Geophysical Union. Other leadership positions have included chairing the Advisory Committee for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation and serving as member of advisory boards at the National Academy of Sciences focused on plate tectonics, scientific ocean drilling and climate change considerations, among many other scientific and professional leadership roles. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America.

Role of the Executive Vice President and Provost

The executive vice president and provost is ESF's chief academic officer and serves as a senior administrator on all issues relating to academic management and general administration of the college in support of the president. In the absence of the president, the executive vice president and provost serves as the College's chief executive officer.

Goals and Objectives

The executive vice president and provost has broad responsibilities, providing oversight for academic programs and related activities that shape and enrich student life. Specifically, the person in this position:

  • Ensures that ESF is equipped with outstanding quality and appropriate standards for all degree and certificate programs; detailed and effective curriculum development; and a rich array of support and opportunities that help students develop the skills they need to be well-rounded individuals and contributing members of society.

  • Works with the vice presidents, vice provosts, associate provosts, deans, department chairs, librarians, faculty and other academic and administrative staff to ensure the smooth delivery of quality academic programs and student services.