We promote a community of belonging and Baker family connections, which result in lifelong associations.
Baker: a community where excellence lives and students thrive.
Four schools comprise Baker University: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing, School of Professional and Graduate Studies.
For over 150 years students at the first university in Kansas have fully engaged in learning; connected with peers, faculty and staff and developed lifelong relationships.
Baker is a private, liberal arts university that educates students through small classes, innovative instructors and rigorous coursework.
We challenge all students to think critically using open inquiry and freedom of expression.
Alumni include four Rhodes Scholars, a Pulitzer Prize winner, entrepreneurs, educators, nurses, writers, artists, doctors, explorers and trendsetters who have shaped our world.
Message From the Dean
College of Arts & Sciences | Rand Ziegler, PhD
May 19, 2011
The 2010-11 academic year at the College of Arts and Sciences was highlighted by the final approval at every level of the new Liberal Studies curriculum, which is set to go “live” with the entering freshman class in the fall of 2011. The interdisciplinary six-course core of the new program will replace the current distributive general education model that has been in place since 1994. In addition, four of the required core courses will be “linked” to related courses in the disciplines that students will take concurrently with an associated core course. Under the direction of Assistant Dean of Liberal Studies Erin Joyce, the freshman- and sophomore-level core courses have been piloted and modified over the past two academic years and instructors from almost every discipline on campus have been involved. The new curriculum differs from the past general education program in many ways, but one important distinction involves shifting the focus away from “courses taken” toward “learning outcomes met.” Additionally, the understandings, abilities and experiences that we hope all graduates will be able to demonstrate do not necessarily have to be acquired within the four walls of a traditional classroom. The next task that we plan to take on with the implementation of the new program involves identifying a creative name that we can use to distinguish and promote what we believe is truly cutting edge.
At the same time that we are excited about our innovative and interdisciplinary approach to general education at Baker, we are moving in a similar direction with a restructuring of our academic departments. With an eye toward facilitating creative and more relevant programs among related disciplines and reinvigorating small majors, we will be moving to an interdisciplinary realignment that will result in eight “super departments” for 2011-12. The Department of History, Culture and Society (communication, history, religion, sociology), chaired by Dr. Tim Buzzell, and the Department of Music and Theatre, chaired by Dr. Trilla Lyerla, were each piloted as new groupings in 2010-11 and will continue next year. The Department of Business and Economics will take oversight of the sports administration major (in addition to accounting and international business) under the leadership of current chairperson Mr. Gary Irick. The Department of Math, Physics and Computer Science will continue as it is currently structured through 2011-12 under new chairperson Dr. Gene Johnson. Two of our science departments will merge into a new Department of Biology and Chemistry for 2011-12 under the leadership of chairperson Dr. Cal Cink. Current psychology chairperson Dr. Marc Carter will take on the exercise science program along with psychology under a new Department of Behavioral and Health Sciences. Dr. Gwyn Mellinger will chair a newly merged Department of Mass Media and Visual Arts and Dr. Cynthia Appl will chair a 2011-12 working Department of Humanities (English, international studies, philosophy, world languages).
School of Nursing | Kathleen L. Harr, DNSc, RN
April 20, 2011
At the School of Nursing, we are looking back on the past few years and breathing sighs of relief that our long awaited on-site accreditation visit is complete. The joint visit with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education evaluators and the Kansas State Board of Nursing was the culmination of three years of self-study and preparation. One major accomplishment was the revision of the curriculum to ensure that it is up to date with the 2008 Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice.
We’ve also watched with interest the development of the new College of Arts liberal studies program to ensure that the slate of prerequisite courses for prenursing students is consistent with requirements for all other transfers. The decision to phase out the requirement for LA 301 and 401 was made. After so many years of collaborating with Dr. Donald Hatcher to offer these courses, we are sad to see the end of this relationship. We are most appreciative of Don and all who have taught 301 and 401 here at the SON. We have maintained that having these courses helped our students to further develop their critical thinking skills and to enhance their clinical reasoning abilities.
As a replacement for 401, several nursing faculty members are developing a new discipline-specific capstone course, NU 411. The new course will be offered for the first time this summer.
We are thankful for another productive academic year. While the accreditation process kept us busy, the visitors were very affirming of the quality of our program and of the high level of support we receive from Baker and Stormont-Vail. This seems an appropriate moment to express my appreciation to everyone at Baker for all you do to support the school and our students.