Local News

April 5, 2013

SUNY Plattsburgh chooses new dean

PLATTSBURGH — Dr. Andrew Buckser will be the new dean of arts and science at SUNY Plattsburgh, effective July 1.

An anthropology professor, he is Purdue University’s associate dean for research and graduate education.

Buckser received word of his selection following a nationwide search that began last fall with the announcement that Dean Kathy Lavoie was stepping down to join the SUNY Plattsburgh biology faculty full time at the end of the academic year.

Lavoie has served as the dean of arts and science since arriving on campus in 1997.


Lavoie said she is looking forward to getting back into the classroom full time after returning to campus following a fall sabbatical. But before that, she will present a paper at the Internal Congress of Speleology, a conference for caving associations, in the Czech Republic this summer.

The sabbatical will take her to the University of New Mexico, where she will use new molecular biology techniques to study caves. She’ll also do field work in Hawaii and the Azores before returning for the spring 2014 semester.


Dr. James Liszka, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said he’s pleased that Buckser has accepted the position.

“Dr. Buckser is an excellent teacher, with several awards to his credit,” Liszka said in a news release from the college.

“He will come to the campus with strong administrative experience, an understanding of the importance of teaching excellence and scholarship and a genuine concern for student success.”

In addition to working as Purdue’s associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Liberal Arts, Buckser has served as the American Education Council Fellow in administration at Cornell University.

He earned his degrees from Harvard and Berkeley and specializes in the anthropology of religion and medical anthropology.

“His books and articles on those subject matters are well-respected in the scholarly community,” Liszka said.

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