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Dr. Samuel B. Mukasa Joins ESF as Executive Vice President and Provost


Dr. Samuel B. Mukasa joined the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to serve as executive vice president and provost effective Nov. 1, 2021.

"Dr. Mukasa brings an abundance of academic and administrative experience to ESF. I have every confidence in him and look forward to working with him on behalf of faculty and students to help propel ESF to greater prominence within the SUNY system, and on a global scale," said ESF President Joanie Mahoney. "I also want to extend my thanks and gratitude to Dr. David Newman for serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for the past three years. David helped lead the College through a transitional period along with the numerous challenges of the pandemic."

Dr. Mukasa comes to ESF after distinguished leadership careers at the University of Michigan (UM), University of New Hampshire (UNH), and the University of Minnesota. He has most recently been the lead in the Provost's Office at Minnesota for Global Academic and Research Initiatives in STEM focusing particularly on the Global South and Asia.

As dean at the University of Minnesota, 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 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 and his group have published close to 200 research papers covering topics in isotope and trace-element geochemistry, petrology, geochronology, and climate science. He has served as president of the Geochemical Society and as a 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 a 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.