Hunt Named Dean of University of Arizona Honors College

Terry L. Hunt, an internationally renowned anthropologist, archaeologist and educator, has been named dean of the University of Arizona Honors College.

Terry L. Hunt

Mr. Hunt will join the University of Arizona in September.

“Terry’s background as a well-respected international researcher and scholar and also the leader of honors colleges at two notable universities makes him an outstanding fit for the University of Arizona,” said Andrew Comrie, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the UA in a prepared statement.

“We are building a re-envisioned Honors experience that goes beyond traditional academic excellence to integrate opportunities for engagement in real-world challenges and creative problem-solving. I’m delighted that Terry is joining us to lead the UA Honors College at this exciting time.”

Mr. Hunt previously served as dean of the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, where the college secured a top-10 ranking by Public University Honors, earning a perfect score under his leadership. Mr. Hunt is one of the world’s foremost experts on the human and environmental histories of the Pacific Islands, where he has conducted field research for more than four decades. Mr. Hunt has led study-abroad courses for the past 18 years to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), where he involves students in his field research.

“I am excited about joining an enthusiastic team to build an honors college that draws on the unique strengths of Arizona,” he said in a press release.

“A national leader in research, the UA represents an opportunity to foster intellectual curiosity and lifelong learners by integrating research and learning. Student success is the foundation of institutional success, and I look forward to further developing experiential curricula, enabling students to develop cross-disciplinary skills and adaptability in a world of fast-paced change and new careers.”

New partnerships and programming were two major initiatives led by Hunt during his tenure at Oregon. He worked with the school’s law dean to bridge two top-ranked UO programs — honors and law — to enable honors students to integrate their fourth year of undergraduate studies with their first year of law school.

Additionally, Mr. Hunt developed research internships and shared seminars for honors students in collaboration with Oregon Health & Science University.

Mr. Hunt’s recent book “The Statues That Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island,” co-authored with Carl Lipo, details Rapa Nui’s ancient history. The book won the Society for American Archaeology’s Book of the Year award in the public audience category in 2011.

Mr. Hunt’s research was the focus of a National Geographic magazine cover story in July 2012 and a Nova-National Geographic TV documentary that first aired on PBS in November 2012.

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