University of Hawaii's Hunt named dean of UO honors college

Terry Hunt, an archaeologist who currently serves as director of the University of Hawaii Honors Program, has been appointed dean of the University of Oregon's Robert D. Clark Honors College, UO Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Scott Coltrane announced today.

Hunt will begin at the Clark Honors College on Sept. 16.

Hunt has been a member of the Department of Anthropology at University of Hawai`i-Manoa since 1988, where he was also affiliated with the program in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. His archaeological research and teaching focus on historical environmental change and life on the islands of the Pacific Ocean. 

"As Terry joins us, I would also like to thank David Frank," Coltrane said in an e-mail message to campus. "As the first Dean of the Clark Honors College, David has served admirably for the past five years. We appreciate the excellent leadership David has provided and applaud his many efforts to strengthen and expand the Robert D. Clark Honors College as it celebrates 50 years of excellence.

"David will be returning to the faculty this fall, and encourages all of us to join in welcoming Terry Hunt to the College and to the University of Oregon."

Hunt has been conducting archaeological field research in the Pacific Islands for more than 30 years, with extensive work in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Easter Island (Rapa Nui). He has directed archaeological field research on Easter Island over the past 12 years, with he and his students working on various aspects of the island’s prehistoric past.  His continuing research on the island addresses questions concerning the trajectory of cultural and ecological changes, including the role of the island's colossal statues and monuments in the ancient society.

Hunt earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii, Hilo; his master's degree from the University of Auckland (New Zealand); and a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Washington.

He has published numerous scholarly articles on Pacific archaeology, prehistory, ecology and linguistics. His work has been published in various magazines and journals, and he has co-edited four books, including a collection on historical ecology and ancient landscape change.

Hunt was awarded the prestigious University of Hawaii Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Research in 2008, in recognition of his innovative work on Easter Island. In 2005, he also won the University of Hawaii Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

His recent book – "The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the mystery of Easter Island" (Free Press, New York, 2011), co-authored with Carl Lipo – revisits the dramatic story of Easter Island’s cultural and environmental history. The book by Hunt and Lipo won the Society for American Archaeology’s book of the year award and their research was recently featured in a Nova television special.

- from the UO Office of Strategic Communications