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Jan. 30, 2009

Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or

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Carol Geary Schneider

General education leader to speak at Founders Day

Baldwin City, Kan. — Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, will be the keynote speaker at Baker University’s annual Founders Day celebration at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Collins Center.

Since becoming the leader of the national organization, Schneider has led several multi-campus initiatives working on general education reform.

Baker University has recently embarked on a comprehensive revision of its general education program and is in the process of creating a unique and innovative program that will serve as the centerpiece of a baccalaureate experience that is strong in student engagement and emphasizes integrative and trans-disciplinary learning for all students.

As head of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which has a membership of more than 1,150 institutions of all sizes, Schneider is devoted to advancing and strengthening undergraduate liberal education.

In a recent interview with Change, the magazine of higher learning, Schneider said, “We need to recognize that unless we are successful in educating people who want to take responsibility for the quality of our democracy and for global citizenship abroad, then even as they may succeed economically, we will be depleting the most fundamental source of the quality of our society. We have to recognize that liberal education has always had a key role in citizenship.”

Under Schneider’s leadership, the association in 2005 launched Liberal Education and America’s Promise, a 10-year public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what matters in a college education for the 21st century. The campaign builds on the association’s major effort, Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College, a multiyear initiative designed to articulate the aims of a 21st century liberal education. The association also has expanded its work on diversity, launched several new projects on civic engagement and the disciplines, and deepened its capacity to support campuses working on educational change.

Schneider is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor's degree in history. She studied at the University of London's Institute for Historical Research and earned a doctorate in history from Harvard University.

Founders Day commemorates the university’s commitment to education and celebrates its religious heritage. Founded in 1858 by what is now the United Methodist Church, Baker, the first university in Kansas, is named in honor of Bishop Osmon C. Baker.


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