• Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

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BAKER 2012 & Beyond

In preparation for the new strategic planning process, President Long launched the BAKER 2012 and Beyond initiative in the fall of 2010. Administrative teams were encouraged to research and develop a range of medium-term to short-term projects aimed at revitalizing academic and institutional infrastructure. After receiving input from more than 40 cabinet and faculty members, a focused vision was introduced to help identify and build on areas of concentration and strength.

Focused Vision

Building on its heritage, Baker University will expand its academic presence as a first-choice institution by inspiring students to gain knowledge, perspective and compassion so they may contribute meaningfully to an increasingly complex, interdependent and global society.

Baker will continue to build on the collective power and distinctive missions of our four schools by focusing on the following:

  • B – Buildings, facilities, grounds and technology
  • A – Academics
  • K – Key focus: Serving our students
  • E – Enrollment growth
  • R – Resources

Baker will achieve this vision through the following:

  • Distinctive and high-quality academic programs taught by distinguished, committed and inspiring faculty
  • Organizations and student-driven activities (academics, leadership, athletics, spiritual, Greek membership, volunteerism) that add unique value to the academic experience
  • Service from respectful and caring individuals that places a priority on the needs and best interests of students
  • University information technology that enables leading-edge solutions for student learning and innovative teaching experiences
  • Facilities at all four schools that are inviting and pristine

B – Buildings, Facilities, Grounds & Technology


Baker University’s facilities are professionally maintained and provide a comfortable and attractive environment for learning. Baker’s classrooms and office spaces are designed to support effective teaching and learning practices. Technology resources are effective in supporting student needs, enhancing the performance of University offices, and enabling effective and innovative classroom teaching.

  • Maintenance and pride in our buildings and infrastructure reflect dedication in all areas of the University. Our well-maintained historic campus communicates a durable educational tradition.
  • Residence halls must be inviting, clean, well maintained and safe for all students and staff.
  • Access to technology must be transparent and effortless at all key points on campus.
  • All facilities outside of Baldwin City must have clear identification with the Baker University identity through signage and artwork.
  • Service and safety for our students is the top priority.
  • Immediate decisions on future renovations will be based on the impact for attracting new students and retention of current students.
  • The technology plan will be developed and funded to meet most immediate needs of students


  • Simon Maxwell, Vice President for Information Technology and SPGS Operations
  • Patrick Mikesic, Director of Development

Project Updates

Facilities Improvement

  • Develop an inventory and replacement schedule for classroom furniture (CAS).
    • An up-to-date inventory of CAS classroom furniture is in process. A related replacement and update schedule for all room furnishings, including paint, window treatments and flooring will be completed by June, 2011.
  • Denious renovation underway
    • Denious Hall is undergoing renovations to create a welcome center for prospective students. The first floor will be completed by July 1, 2011. Denious will house the offices of Admission and Financial Aid. Additional faculty office space will be created by the move.

Technology Planning

  • Review and update the provisioning plan for computing resources.
    • An assessment of technical needs is in process that includes input from faculty, staff and students. The goal is to provide guidelines for more effective management of computer replacement cycles by May, 2011.
  • Develop a revised classroom technology resource plan.
    • An effective assessment of classroom technology needs will be completed utilizing input from surveys of students and faculty as well as input from all associated governance committees and dean's offices. The goal is to develop a revised technology resource plan by May, 2011.

A – Academics & Accreditation


Baker University will be known for its commitment to liberal and professional education, for its distinctive and relevant academic programs and for its community of faculty mentors who engage students in collaborative and active learning.

To attract new students, we must identify, support and market the distinctiveness of our programs:

  • The innovation of our new liberal studies program
  • The relevance and success of our distinctive majors
  • The reputation and respect of our high-profile majors and programs for our School of Nursing and School of Education and the MBA program
  • Use of multiple delivery systems: online, on-ground, experiential, learning teams, alternative calendars


  • Peggy Harris, Vice President and Dean of SOE and SPGS
  • Kathy Harr, Vice President and Dean of SON
  • Rand Ziegler, Vice President and Dean of CAS

Note: Many new programming ideas for all four schools are explored in the section under Enrollment Growth.

Project Updates

College of Arts & Sciences

  • A summer bridge program is being developed.
    • As part of our efforts to recruit Kauffman Scholars, Dr. Carrie Cowart-Bucher has developed a proposal for a five-week summer residential program designed to aid in the transition to college for admitted freshmen who need additional preparation.
  • A full-time MBA program is being considered at CAS.
    • During the spring 2011 term, CAS faculty members are developing a business case analysis for a unique full-time MBA program on the Baldwin City campus. Exploration of business partnerships and market viability will be reported for consideration by fall 2011.
  • Re-align departments to focus on interdisciplinary super departments.
    • An initiative to reconfigure the departmental structure focuses on creating interdisciplinary groups of faculty in a smaller number of total departments. A pilot example is the Department of History, Culture and Society. This department includes sociology, history, communication and religion faculty.

School of Professional & Graduate Studies

  • Faculty training programs are being developed at SPGS.
    • An online training program is being developed for all SPGS faculty. The training program will focus on policies associated with student learning teams. A second training program will focus on appropriate collection of data for the assessment of student learning. Both programs will be implemented by the end of the spring 2011 semester.
  • New business partnerships are being developed in Wichita.
    • SPGS is pursuing a partnership with Hawker Beechcraft in order to deliver an onsite cohort of students by the end of the spring 2011 semester.

School of Education

  • GSOE is pursuing students in the Kansas City Kansas school district.
    • The development of a cohort agreement with the KCK school district is expected to bring additional cohorts from that district by the fall of 2011.
  • Focus on the needs of minority and high-needs students at the summer 2011 practitioner’s conference
    • Planning for the summer 2011 conference will involve development of a theme that addresses the needs of minority and high-needs students as well as identifying a keynote speaker who can address these issues.

School of Nursing

  • Move toward online portfolios.
    • Using the technology available in Moodle, online portfolios will allow students to store and present coursework that demonstrates successful attainment of student learning outcomes.
  • Explore grant funding for simulation lab.
    • Grants are a possible source for funding that will allow the simulation lab to be reconstructed into a three-room lab with a separate debriefing area.

K – Key Focus: Serving Our Students


Understanding the importance of student success in achieving our mission, Baker places a high priority on creating and maintaining a welcoming environment for all students. Baker University’s personnel provide information and services to students in an effective and positive manner. All processes and procedures are geared toward positive and efficient interactions with students. Baker’s facilities, student support and technology services are sufficient to provide the type and level of assistance necessary to achieve our academic mission and ensure academic success for all students.


  • Cassy Bailey, Dean of Students, CAS
  • Sandee Jamour, Administrative Assistant, SOE

Project Updates

Staff Development & Customer Service

  • Initiate staff training on the student computer interface.
    • A set of technology training sessions has been or is being developed for staff on technology that directly impacts students. This service would improve staff’s ability to assist students in the use of Moodle and/or the student portal. Training will complete by June 2011.
  • Provide financial aid training for all staff involved in recruiting.
    • Between now and June 2011, training sessions will be held for athletic coaches and recruiters to make sure they are able to communicate knowledgeably about all financial aid regulations and processes.
  • Develop a customer service training program for staff.
    • An office protocol is being developed to guide staff interactions when greeting students and others, answering the phone, and dealing with difficult interpersonal situations. The development of the protocol will be followed by a series of training sessions for new and current office staff. Training will be ongoing through September 2011.
  • Increase effective communication by distributing a “who’s who” list for essential offices.
    • A list of offices and contact personnel for common issues and questions is being developed. The list will allow staff to direct calls and students to the appropriate person or office. The “who’s who” list should be completed by June 2011.
  • Develop a more effective degree audit system for graduate students.
    • A system is being developed in order to allow final degree audits for graduate students to be completed prior to the commencement ceremony. This system should be in place by May 2011 and will increase communication with students regarding the completion of their graduation requirements.

E – Enrollment Growth


In striving to expand its academic presence and improve overall financial standing, Baker University continues to explore innovative, entrepreneurial and culturally relevant means of structuring enrollment growth. By developing procedures and analytical tools that foster a data-based planning culture, the community will ensure a focus on fiscally prudent programs that fit with the University mission.

  • Institute realistic growth and enrollment objectives.
  • Determine resources needed to achieve the goals.
  • Establish realistic and stretch retention metrics.
  • Develop appropriate discount rate.


  • Mark Bandre, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Development
  • Pete Stobie, Executive Director of Business Development

Project Updates

Recruiting at CAS

  • A departmental scholarship program has been initiated.
    • A new scholarship program was established by restructuring available aid. The goal of the program is to directly involve academic departments in the student recruitment process, with the hope that they can attract students specifically interested in their programs.
  • A faculty- student mentor program is being piloted for prospective high-achieving students.
    • Nine faculty mentors have volunteered to provide an additional point of contact for prospective students with a 27 or higher composite ACT score.
  • The Admission Office has initiated new efforts in Arkansas.
    • This outreach to a new geographic region includes purchasing of select high school junior names and travel to a limited number of high schools, college fairs and United Methodist churches.
  • Changes in the Admission Office are designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness of recruiting.
    • Admission representative territories have been restructured so that key Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties in Kansas and Kansas City, Mo., areas receive extra focus.
  • Initiated long-term work with Marketing Office to make better use of technology in all printing, designing, social networking and communication flow decisions.
    • Purchased iPads for use by admission representatives in interacting with and communicating to prospective students.
    • Revamped the University Admission Assistant program to make optimum use of Baker’s best students in the campus tour and visit processes.
    • Continue working toward implementation of the new Talisma admission contact management software that incorporates social networking options.
  • Increased attention to recruiting transfer students.
    • Responsibility for recruitment of prospective transfer students has been spread across the admission staff instead of relying on one person for this role.
    • The vice president for enrollment management and student development met with officials from Butler County and Cloud County community colleges in order to learn about the best means of partnering with the colleges and working with their students.
  • There is a plan to explore multiple articulation agreements. Key players have been identified and plan to meet to discuss options this semester.
    • The assistant dean for liberal studies has identified a transfer working group to develop transfer credit policies for the liberal studies core.

New Academic Programming

  • A standardized business case process for the initiation of new programs is being developed.
    • The Enrollment Growth task force is developing a detailed form with recommended procedures for evaluating new programs based on a standard business case.
  • Develop RN to BSN degree.
    • This program is before the Board of Trustees for approval at the February meeting.
    • Following final approvals, faculty recruitment and marketing, we hope to start students in the summer of 2011.
  • Develop online teaching concentration for MAEd and MLA.
    • Students should begin enrolling in this program in March or April 2011.
  • Develop Masters in Management Information Systems.
    • This new program was approved by the board in October 2010; HLC approval is pending.
    • New students are expected to begin enrolling in the MMIS program in Summer 2011.
  • Launch Master of Arts in Education in an online format.
    • Following the development of a marketing plan, new students are expected to enroll in March or April, 2011.

Increase Student Population Through Geographic Expansion

  • AAB, BBA, MBA in Omaha, Neb.
    • Currently, we are marketing our online programs in the Omaha area.
    • We are tracking Nebraska student enrollments and looking at plans for an eventual on-ground presence.
  • MAEd in Omaha, Neb.
    • Following a clear evaluation of the potential market for students, a marketing campaign is scheduled for the summer of 2011, followed by the first enrollments of students in the fall of that year.

R – Resources


We must have the resources to support the continuous improvement of the academic, social and culturally diverse foundations of the institution.

  • People to achieve our mission
  • Achievement of fundraising goals
  • Revenue that exceeds expenses
  • Debt reduction


  • Lyn Lakin, Vice President for Advancement
  • Susan Lindahl, Chief Operating Officer

Project Updates

Financial Resources

  • Planning phase of a new capital campaign initiated.
    • Discussion of a multiyear campaign will begin at the February 2011 board meeting. Initial evaluations and fact finding to be completed by fall 2011.
  • Five-year budget planning process to be developed.
    • In conjunction with the development of the strategic plan, a five-year planning process is being developed to phase in growth initiatives based on identified priorities. The process is expected to be fully described by the end of 2011 and implemented for the 2012-2013 budgeting cycle.
  • Initiate investment strategy and policy review.
    • In conjunction with the Financial Services team and the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees, a review of investment strategies and policies will be initiated at the February 2011 board meeting. This review is expected to improve investment performance and enhance the financial stability of the University.
  • Financial aid operations are being reviewed and revised to ensure full use of endowed aid.
    • University-wide efforts, that began in summer 2010, continue toward ensuring full use of endowed scholarship earnings in the financial aid process. Maximizing student access to endowed financial aid sources positively affects CAS tuition revenue and enables better Advancement Office contacts.
  • Initiate aggressive retirement of short-term debt.
    • Current action to aggressively retire short-term debt is expected to free up capital for strategically selected and prioritized capital projects and investment in growth opportunities.

Development of Human Resources

  • The performance review process is being reviewed.
    • A review and reform of the performance review process is being undertaken in order to optimize staffing and improve performance. A reformed process will be adopted for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. A continued effort to invest in human resources will be proposed for funding for the 2011-2012 fiscal year