I hope this message finds you well. My name is Dr. Georita M. Frierson, and as we gear up for the upcoming academic year, I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University of Southern Maine (USM). It is an honor and a privilege to join this esteemed institution, and I’m excited to embark on this journey alongside every single one of you.
Allow me to share a little bit about my background. I come to USM with a passion for education, research, teaching and a deep commitment to fostering an inclusive and transformative learning environment. I have spent the past two decades in various academic leadership roles, with a focus on student success, faculty development, and interdisciplinary collaboration. My research specializes in the health of Black and Latinx women surviving cancer, enhanced by my academic discipline in clinical psychology. I strongly believe in the power of education and service learning to shape lives and drive positive change, especially as it relates to social justice and equity, and I’m dedicated to supporting you in your academic pursuits.
As your Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, my primary goal is to ensure that USM
continues to provide you with a world-class education, one that equips you with the knowledge,
skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in an ever-changing global landscape. I’m committed to
enhancing the quality of our academic programs, expanding research/creativity/scholarship opportunities, and fostering a vibrant (four) campus community where every student feels valued and empowered.
To achieve these objectives, I’m eager to collaborate with our esteemed faculty, dedicated staff, and committed student leaders. Your voices and perspectives matter greatly, and I encourage you to actively engage in the university’s initiatives, participate in student organizations, and take advantage of the numerous resources and support services available to you. Together, we can shape the future of USM and create a nurturing environment where you can excel academically and personally.
The diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities of USM are what initially drew me to this exceptional
place. By strengthening our cultural competence, embracing difference from race to gender to
neurodivergence and beyond, and committing to the protection of one another from hate, bigotry,
and violence, we can become models of success for the rest of the world.
I would love to hear from each of you. Whether you have suggestions, concerns, or simply want to
share your thoughts, my door is always open. I’m genuinely excited to embark on this journey with you and work collectively towards making USM an extraordinary place to learn, grow, and succeed. Let’s celebrate the rich diversity of our student body, embrace the power of knowledge, and make a lasting impact on our community and beyond.
Wishing you a restful summer and looking forward to meeting you all soon.
Dr. Georita M. Frierson
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Professor of Psychology
University of Southern Maine
Along with Provost Frierson, Dominic Barraclough is the Vice Provost and there are two Assistant Provosts and four deans in Academic Affairs.
The following University deans and administrators report to the Provost: