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 a quarter century of experience across a range of colleges and universities, Berger brings to SAIC a wealth of administrative experience in higher education.  

An image of Martin Berger.

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 dean, he worked on long-range academic planning, curricular and information technology coordination, building the diversity of tenure-track applicant pools, addressing concerns of part-time faculty, and refining the School’s program review process.

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 History, with a particular focus on the construction of 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 in 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). He is currently working on a new book project, Inventing Stereotype: Race, Arts, and 1920s America.