In a rigorous and lengthy review of Dean Potter’s accomplishments since 2015, the Dean Evaluation Committee wrote, “Dean Potter is a hard-working, ethical dean who has made significant, positive contributions to the culture, intellectual vision, and effective operation of SC&I during his first five years.”
“I am delighted,” Potter said, at the first school-wide meeting of the 2020-2021 academic year, held remotely on September 2, regarding his reappointment. “I would like to thank Chris Molloy and all of the members of the Decanal Reappointment Committee for the work they put into the report, and to the large numbers in the SC&I community who gave their views in detail and at length. It’s something I appreciate and will draw upon as guidance.”
Potter was previously Dean of School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University in the U.K., where he helped guide the school through the challenges produced by the 2008 financial crisis.
A Distinguished Professor of Communication, Potter’s expertise is in the field of discourse studies, with a particular focus on the way careful analyses of interaction can be a route to understanding and reworking basic psychological questions.
Throughout his research career, Potter has addressed fundamental issues of theory and method, as well as made substantial research contributions in the area of language and racism, the operation of helplines, and the role of cognition in communication.
Potter’s 1987 book developed a new way of thinking about social psychology – highlighting the role of communication – and continues to be widely influential. His 1996 book on epistemics, fact construction, and communication also has been heavily cited.
He has sat on more than 20 editorial boards, is a Fellow of the International Communication Association, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences, and is an honorary fellow of the TAOS Institute.