Ferris State University Big Rapids MI College

Academic Affairs

Associate Provost of Retention and Student Success

potter William Potter 

Dr. William Potter was appointed Associate Provost for Academic Affairs in 2011. His responsibilities include leading Ferris State University in retention efforts and programs, many of which are recognized as national models, to help students be successful in college. Dr. Potter oversees the efforts of the Academic Support Center, Developmental Curriculum Department, Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services,   Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), Honors Program, Media Production, SCHOLAR Peer Mentor Program,   Structured Learning Assistance, Tuition Incentive Program (TIP), Office of Transfer and Secondary School Partnerships, and the Ferris State University Seminar (FSUS) course.

Dr. Potter was appointed as Dean to lead the former University College at Ferris State University in 1999. Prior to coming to Ferris, Dr. Potter held a 25-year tenure at nearby Alma College in a variety of academic administrative positions including Dean of Academic Affairs, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs and Registrar, Registrar and Director of Records and Research, Associate/Assistant Registrar, and Special Grants Coordinator. Throughout his career, Dr. Potter has been keenly interested in helping students of all kinds be successful in college as an academic advisor, an instructor in student success courses, and an administrator responsible for providing support services. He is also a mentor and advocate for staff members as a direct result of his dissertation about the role of middle managers in postsecondary education.

Associate Provost Potter earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in College and University Administration from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts degree in History from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Alma College. In addition to long standing interests in 20th Century American diplomatic and civil rights history, Dr. Potter’s research interests include grade inflation, student retention, and assessment of student success strategies. Dr. Potter continues to teach and advise students in the University College Directed Studies Program and is actively involved in the Ferris Center for College Readiness. 

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