Office of the President

Theodora J. Kalikow President

Theodora J. Kalikow

Formal Biography

USM President, Dr. Theodora Kalikow

Theodora J. Kalikow has been President of the University of Southern Maine since July 2012 and was President of the University of Maine at Farmington from 1994 – 2012.

In 2001 Kalikow was inducted to the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame.  Nominated by the Waterville branch of the American Association of University Women and supported by women across the state, Kalikow was honored for the statewide impact of her achievements, her effect on improving the lives of women in Maine and the enduring value of her contributions to women.  Previous inductees to the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame include: former U.S. Senators Margaret Chase Smith, Olympia Snowe, and Susan M. Collins, former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, and Olympic gold medal winner Joan Benoit Samuelson.

She received the Maryann Hartman Award from the University of Maine Women’s Studies Program in 2000 for her achievements which have inspired other women.

The University of New England honored Kalikow in 2006 with the Deborah Morton award. This award is presented annually to recognize Maine women who have achieved distinction in their careers and their service to the public.  UNE also conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Kalikow in 2012.

In 2007 she received the Green Building Leadership Award from the Maine Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council for her pioneering work in establishing high standards of environmental responsibility for higher education in Maine.  In 2011 Princeton Review named UMF a “Top Green College” in its 311 Green Colleges guide.  The publication profiled 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.  On a scale of 60-99, the University of Maine at Farmington received a Princeton Review Green Rating of 91.

Under President Kalikow’s leadership, the 2,000-student University of Maine at Farmington was recognized as one of the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges for 15 consecutive years and was 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 UMF including the Education Matters campaign for the UMF Education Center and an innovative joint fundraising campaign for UMF’s Mantor Library and the Farmington Public Library.

Dedicated to the sustainable campus movement, she provided the leadership for the construction of two LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings at UMF.  The 42,000 square foot Education Center, featuring a geothermal heating and cooling system, the use of recycled construction materials, and energy-efficient construction, opened in 2007. Frances Allen Black Hall, a residence hall noted for its green features, opened in 2006.


More about Theodora J. Kalikow
A native of Swampscott, Massachusetts, Theodora Kalikow received the 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.

In 2012 Kalikow was named President of the University of Southern Maine.