President Long to retire in June 2014

Dr. Patricia N. Long in front of the Kansas City skyline

The Baker University Board of Trustees announced Friday, Feb. 8, that University President Pat Long will retire on June 30, 2014. Long informed the Trustees of her intentions at their meeting this afternoon. She has served as University President since July 1, 2006.

“Being president of Baker University during the past seven years has been my highest privilege and blessing,” Long said. “I believe when I retire in 16 months we will have seen my primary goals fulfilled, and the institution will be in a wonderful place to usher in the next era of leadership.”

Long has the distinction of being Baker’s first female president since its founding in 1858 as the first University in Kansas. Since taking office, Long has been committed to maintaining academic excellence and strengthening student life. She has guided the development of several signature academic offerings at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels and expanded campuses across Kansas and Missouri.

Her accomplishments include the opening of the $6.3 million New Living Center, the first new residence hall on the Baldwin City campus in nearly 50 years. Long also oversaw the renovation of Denious Hall, home to the Janice and David von Riesen Welcome Center and the Donald R. and Martha Hardy Mather Admission and Financial Aid Suite. Long championed the fundraising efforts for the $11.3 million Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education, the largest capital project in the University’s history, which was completed in October 2012. The facility comprises the newly renovated Mulvane Hall, the Ross and Christine Hartley Hall and the Baker Greenhouse. During her tenure, Long navigated the University through the national recession in 2009 while Baker’s students enjoyed record-breaking academic and athletic success.

Long’s dedication to students is reflected in the Higher Learning Commission’s 10-year reaccreditation recommendation, the Quest program, a new liberal arts curriculum focused on critical thinking and developing versatile graduates, and the establishment of the Institute for Leadership and Positive Change, which debuted in January. In 2012, Baker University launched an Ed.D. program developed for leaders pursuing a career in higher education, which is another initiative stemmed from Long’s passion.

“Dr. Pat’s genuine love of students has always been No. 1 in her heart,” said Hoot Gibson, Baker’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The relationships she has developed are what have made her tenure so special. Her calling has been a perfect fit for Baker. Through her comprehensive vision, Baker University has expanded its facilities, academic programs and athletic endeavors, and strengthened its position at the forefront of higher education, which is reflected in our consistent national rankings.

“We are thankful she has given us ample time to perform a thorough search and that she remains committed to fulfilling our remaining goals.”

The Board of Trustees will begin a national search for the next president in the near future.

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