Fielding Graduate University President Katrina Rogers, PhD, recently announced the appointment of Gerald Porter, PhD, to the position of provost and senior vice president.
“On behalf of the students and faculty, I am pleased to welcome Gerald Porter to the Fielding community. With his experience in both psychology and education, he brings a critical cross-disciplinary outlook to the role of provost. We look forward to his leadership and guidance in the coming years to advance our mission to graduate adults prepared to create positive lasting change in the world,” said Rogers.
Porter comes to Fielding with an extensive background spanning both education and psychology, with an emphasis in curriculum and program development.
“My personal teaching and academic philosophy is completely consistent with Fielding’s distributive model of graduate education,” Porter stated, “For many years, I have had a personal and professional interest in alternative models of higher education, especially graduate and doctoral study.”
Graduate Education Curriculum and Program Development Expert
Prior to joining Fielding, Porter served as vice president of Academic Affairs and professor at Forest Institute in Springfield, MO. At Forest, he oversaw the APA reaccreditation of the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology, managed the implementation and accreditation of a new standalone master of arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, instituted embedded assessments as part of a new comprehensive examination model for the PsyD program in clinical psychology, implemented a new externship program in partnership with a major health service provider in southern Missouri, and introduced a quick admit recruitment program that increased master’s program admissions by over 30 percent.
From 2010-2011, Porter was responsible, in part, for the development of Apple Core, a childhood obesity prevention program, in partnership with Premera Blue Cross while serving as dean in the School of Natural Health Arts and Sciences at Bastyr University. He also created and chaired the university-wide Diversity Committee, chaired the Indigenous Studies Workgroup, and managed the planning and launch of an undergraduate program in integrated human biology.
As dean of the School of Education at the State University of New York at Cortland, Porter directed several major projects including the opening of a new school of Education complex, served as co-chair for the Cortland Professional Development School in partnership with the Cortland City School District. He established and served as chair of a new regional professional development school in Cortland with seven participating school districts, oversaw mini‐grant programs for faculty, P‐12 teachers, and school districts funded with Critic Teacher funds secured from the state, served as chair for the Physician’s Pedagogy Group to develop pedagogical skills training for medical school faculty, and served on the Advisory Board of the groundbreaking Cortland Urban Recruitment of Educators (CURE) program.
While at SUNY Oswego, Porter’s responsibilities included collaborating with the graduate dean to finalize development of a credit-bearing graduate interdisciplinary certificate in gerontology, developing an accelerated master’s in counseling program, developing and teaching over ten new elective courses generating significant revenues, establishing a collaboration between the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) and the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. He was instrumental in establishing an expressive arts sequence in the CPS Department, reorganized comprehensive examinations in master’s and Certificate of Advanced Studies programs, and developed master’s thesis alternatives in degree programs.
Social Justice Advocate
While employed as a program manager and trainer for the New York State Education Department, Porter helped to develop the Adolescent Vocational Exploration (AVE) and Structured Educational Support Programs (SESP). These statewide programs, implemented in partnership with regional service providers, prepared at-risk youth for high school completion, job readiness, and postsecondary education. Porter also contributed to the development of workshops and graduate coursework in gender and race equity for the New York State Sex Equity Technical Assistance and Resource Center. As director of client programming at the Columbia County ARC, Porter lead the development of all curriculum, including basic education, self-care, and recreation for developmentally disabled adults at the startup of a day treatment center.
Fielding in the Future
In a recent interview, Porter was asked about the future of Fielding. He stated, “As President Rogers advocates, we want to strengthen our existing programs, and diversify our offerings with targeted new programs that will respond to the emerging needs of our society in the 21st century, and enable adult learners who have been our traditional population, to grow, realize their self-chosen goals, and adapt more successfully to the changing environment. Fielding is well positioned to assume a leadership role in the more competitive and diverse academy that is emerging. We have a proven model based on a unique vision and understanding of adult focused higher education that has been tested over many years of practical experience. Fielding offers a viable model for adults who are embedded in the demands of life to pursue rigorous transformative graduate study while continuing to honor those life commitments. In this economically challenging time, this is what people desperately need: a pathway to personal and professional growth. Fielding has found a way, arguably the best way, to provide graduate and doctoral education to adults in the tumultuous new environment facing higher education. I am persuaded that our commitment to social justice informed by the necessary self-examination demanded by our transformational learning process will assure Fielding’s continuing success and relevance.”
Porter holds a PhD in educational psychology and statistics, Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in the School of Psychology and an MS degree in educational psychology and statistics from the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is permanently certified in the School of Psychology in New York State and is a Certified Clinical Psychopathologist from the National Association of Forensic Counselors.