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Provost & Academic Affairs

Welcome to the Office of Academic Affairs.

The goal of this office is to facilitate the College's fundamental academic mission through support of its academic programs and a broad range of academic services. We seek to promote the central mission of the College, student learning, through programs, policies and resources that sustain superb teaching, excellent scholarship, comprehensive and caring support services and the academic resources needed to accomplish that mission.

This Web page provides information regarding programs of broad interest to academic faculty, staff and students, along with links to the department and programs that report through Academic Affairs. Please feel free to contact me or other staff members for information about the academic program in general or about specific programs described in these pages.

Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bette S. Bergeron
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Alan L. Hersker
Special Assistant to the Provost, Gaylynn J. Welch

Statement on Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom is an intractable foundation of the academic enterprise.  As stated by the SUNY Board of Trustees, "It is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching and research. In the exercise of this freedom faculty members may, without limitation, discuss their own subject in the classroom; they may not, however, claim as their right the privilege of discussing in their classroom controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. The principle of academic freedom shall be accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility" (https://system.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/boardoftrustees/SUNY-BOT-Policies-Jan2019.pdf).  SUNY Potsdam embraces this policy, specifically in regard to recognizing faculty members' full freedom of inquiry, teaching, and research, including the right to imbed controversial issues into their scholarly and creative endeavors, and as part of their teaching specific to their discipline.  Academic freedom is fundamental to the rights of faculty in pursuing their academic work.

As a reflection of these principles of academic freedom, SUNY Potsdam's Division of Academic Affairs pledges to support an academic environment through which faculty members and their students can pursue topics appropriate to their disciplines, even when these topics and issues are controversial, without fear of discrimination or retribution.  We reject any attempt, including from social, political, or governmental policy or pressure, to undermine the rights and principles integral to academic freedom.  We also acknowledge the disparate impact on persons of color and those in our LGBTQ+ community from systemic injustices and bias, and pledge to continue to work across SUNY Potsdam to ensure that the academic freedom and academic voice of all constituents is protected, valued, and supported.