New Arts and Sciences Dean Looks Forward to Helping College ‘Grow, Thrive’
SUNY Plattsburgh has a new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Meg Pearson, dean of West Georgia University College, was appointed to the position following a national search that culminated in three candidates coming to campus earlier this semester. Pearson will take the reins from Dr. Genie Babb, professor of English, who has served as interim dean since July 2020.
“Dr. Meg Pearson will be a wonderful addition to our academic leadership at SUNY Plattsburgh,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Herzog. “Throughout her finalist interview, we were all impressed by her enthusiasm and thoughtful participation in every session.
“Feedback from various constituencies on campus was uniformly positive. I look forward to working with her to ensure the continued success of the School of Arts and Sciences,” Herzog said.
Prior to becoming dean at West Georgia, she chaired the Department of English and Philosophy at the university, which has an enrollment of 12,000 students on three campuses within an hour of Atlanta. Now in her 16th year at the southern school, she said coming to SUNY Plattsburgh fits with her philosophy of serving at a regional comprehensive college.
“I serve at one now,” she said. “And I find the mission to serve the people of the region very clarifying in making decisions.
‘What’s Best for the Student’
“We must always ask, ‘What’s best for the student?’ and, ‘What’s best for this area?’” she said. “The testimonies I’ve seen and heard from students demonstrate that SUNY Plattsburgh attends to that mission faithfully.”
It doesn’t hurt that SUNY Plattsburgh is situated in one of the “most beautiful natural places in the country,” she said. “When I saw a position open, I happily applied.”
Herzog lauded Pearson’s background, saying the new dean “will bring to our campus a considerable background in student success services, academic transition programs and multicultural achievement-focused initiatives.”
Originally from her mother’s home of Westchester County, N.Y., Pearson grew up in Georgia.
“For those of a certain age, I refer to my childhood as an episode of ‘Green Acres,’” she joked. “My mother was from Westchester, and my father was from a small town in Georgia, so I grew up between the two worlds.”
Wonderful Time Meeting Faculty and Staff
As she enters yet another world, Pearson said she had “a wonderful time meeting the terrific faculty and staff at Plattsburgh so far, so I’m looking forward to meeting even more people and having the chance to hear their Plattsburgh story.
“I need to get to know the faculty, staff and students and start earning their trust,” she said. “I’m an outsider coming in, and I want to learn everything I can about the school and the area so that I can help the school grow and thrive. I’m looking forward to meeting members of the community, too, and I’m hoping to start some exciting partnerships there.”
Pearson, who will begin her tenure at SUNY Plattsburgh July 1, and her husband, Marcus, a high school social studies teacher, have a daughter, Piper, who will be in sixth grade in the fall.
“We’re a family of hikers, and we cannot wait to start exploring the area,” she said. “And, I’m also selfishly anticipating an August without 100-plus degree temperatures and a proper New York autumn leaf display.”