Martin Berger

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

As provost, Berger provides leadership and vision for the academic program, establishes budgetary priorities, and guides the implementation of SAIC’s strategic plan. He oversees a broad range of academic and administrative departments, including academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, information technology, community engagement, and the libraries and special collections. With 30 years of experience across a range of private and public colleges and universities, Berger brings to SAIC a wealth of administrative experience in higher education.

A headshot of Martin Berger, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Berger first joined SAIC in 2018 as the dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs before his appointment as provost in 2019. During Berger’s tenure as provost, he has worked on long-range academic planning, our COVID-19 response, introducing more efficient course schedule blocks, tuition reductions and aid increases for undergraduate students, boosting auxiliary revenues, and expanding support for first-generation and low-expected family contribution students.

Before SAIC, Berger most recently served as the associate vice provost for academic affairs and associate campus diversity officer for faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There, Berger oversaw a university-wide strategic academic planning process and co-chaired a faculty training and education program to advance the campus’s sexual harassment prevention efforts, among other initiatives.

Berger received his bachelor of arts in english and art history from Wesleyan University, and a master of arts, master of philosophy, and doctorate of philosophy in american studies from Yale University. His scholarly expertise is in 19th- and 20th-century US art and culture, with a particular focus on representation, gender, and race. He has held fellowships at the National Humanities Center, Smithsonian Institution, Stanford Humanities Center, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

An active historian of US art and visual culture, Berger is the author of three books and an exhibition catalogue: Man Made: Thomas Eakins and the Construction of Gilded Age Manhood (2000), Sight Unseen: Whiteness and American Visual Culture (2005), Seeing through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography (2011), and Freedom Now! Forgotten Photographs of the Civil Rights Struggle (2013). His latest book, Inventing Stereotype: Race, Representation, and Interwar America, will be published in 2025 by the University of Chicago Press.