Theodora J. Kalikow

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Theodora J. Kalikow
11th President of the University of Southern Maine
Term July 2012 – July 2014
Predecessor Selma Botman
Successor David Flanagan
Born 1942 (age 71–72)
Swampscott, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater Wellesley College, A.B.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sc.M
Boston University, PhD
Residence Gorham, Maine, U.S.

Theodora J. Kalikow, often called Theo, was the eleventh President of the University of Southern Maine.


A native of Swampscott, Massachusetts, Kalikow received her A.B. in Chemistry from Wellesley College in 1962. After working in a laboratory at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, she attended graduate school in the Boston area, receiving the Sc.M. in Philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, and the Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston University in 1974.

During the academic year 1967-68 she served as tutor in philosophy at the University of Exeter, England; and in 1968-69 she began teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where she attained the rank of Professor and served as Department Chair and faculty union president.

In 1981 Kalikow became the Interim Assistant to the President at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and during 1983-84 she served as an American Council on Education Fellow at Brown University.

From 1984 to 1987 she was Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, and in 1987 she moved to Plymouth State College (N.H.), where she served as Dean of the College (with one year as Interim President) until 1994.

In 1994 Kalikow was named President of the University of Maine at Farmington. Under President Kalikow’s leadership, the 2,000-student University of Maine at Farmington has been recognized as one of the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges for 15 consecutive years and has been named one of 20 model universities committed to maximizing student potential in “Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter,” published by the American Association for Higher Education. She is known statewide as a model for establishing outstanding campus-community relations and has led several successful campaigns for the University, including the Education Matters! campaign for the UMF Education Center and the innovative joint fundraising campaign for UMaine Farmington’s Mantor Library and the Farmington Public Library.

In 2012 Kalikow was named President of the University of Southern Maine. She assumed this position following the controversial departure of her predecessor, Dr. Selma Botman. On July 23, 2014, David Flanagan was named her successor while the University searches for a permanent replacement.