New assistant provost comes from D.C., looks forward to working at a university



By Jen Taylor

The new International Affairs assistant provost joins UK with a lot of experience, but says he still has a lot to look forward to.

Gary Gaffield, the newly appointed assistant provost, comes from Washington D.C., filling a newly created position in the office.

“I am really excited to move to UK,” Gaffield said. “The university has realized the importance of international relations and research for a long time. The students are interested in study abroad programs, and it is a campus that is fully aware of all that international relations will bring.”

The former director of international affairs and of external affairs, David Bettez, retired in May 2010. Gaffield’s position was created after Bettez’ retirement, a UK news release said.

Susan Carvalho, the associate provost of International Programs, said she and others in the International Affairs office are the lucky ones.

“He comes with a lot of experience and was actively recruited for the position here,” Carvalho said.

Some of this experience includes working in Washington D.C. with the Academy for Educational Development, a non-government organization related to higher education, for three years.

He also worked for two years as the deputy executive director of the Council for International Exchanges of Scholars and Fulbright Scholar Program.

Gaffield first was in contact with Carvalho and others at UK as the director of the Iraq University Linkages Program.

This program consists of five U.S. universities and five Iraqi universities, and the American universities help those in Iraq with modernizing curriculum and developing career counseling. Gaffield’s job was to oversee this partnership; he visited Iraq four times, and he even rode on helicopters with a bomb-proof vest strapped to him.

“Having been to Iraq, Gary was helpful in illuminating the goals of the Iraq Linkages project by providing a richer understanding of the background of our partners and the context in which they teach,” said Nancy Johnson, one of the UK faculty helping with the Iraq program.

George Blandford, a civil engineering professor, met Gaffield in Iraq. Blandford said he met with Gaffield when he visted UK last spring to observe the Iraqi delegation.

“Gary is a dedicated person,” Blandford said in an email to the Kernel. “He is a very personable person and spent a great deal of time and effort getting to know the expectations of the project and the culture of the people we are trying to help.”

Gaffield also has experience working at a university.

He worked as an administrator at Wittenberg University in Ohio for 25 years and worked with the athletics program and the institutional research program, among others departments.

“There were not many functions of a university that I did not have direct contact with while at Wittenberg,” Gaffield said.

He said his good experience working with Carvalho and UK’s Iraq program made him eager to come to UK.

He is excited with his new responsibilities and hopes his experience in Washington will help UK get more opportunities abroad, he said.

“As much as I enjoyed my work in Washington, I concluded that I like being at a university, and it is where I will have the greatest impact.”