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School of Education, School of Nursing deans to retire at end of year
Baldwin City, Kan. — Two longtime Baker University administrators — Vice President and Dean of the School of Education Peggy Harris and Vice President and Dean of the School of Nursing Kathy Harr — recently announced their plans to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.
"Dr. Harr and Dr. Harris have been cornerstones of this institution for many years," Baker President Pat Long said. "Their leadership will be dearly missed. Kathy and Peggy are wonderful embodiments of the Baker mission, and will always remain a part of our Baker family."
Under Harris' guidance, the School of Education earlier this year celebrated its 100th Master of Arts in Education cohort. Harris, who joined the Baker faculty in 1984, has overseen the growth of the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program, which in 2012 surpassed the University of Kansas for the highest-enrolled Doctorate of Education program in the state with 92 students. Harris remains active in ensuring Baker's new higher education Ed.D. track becomes its own separate degree.
"Peggy brought a calm and determined attitude to the deanship," Long said. "In making decisions, she looked at all options and then with commitment and confidence moved forward. She made sure her presence was felt on all campuses and clocked countless hours on the road between Baldwin and Overland Park."
In 16 years at Baker's School of Nursing at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, Harr has developed one of the highest quality programs in the region. She guided the school through accreditation processes by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education in 2001 and 2011. Under her leadership, students' first-time pass rates of the National Council Licensure Examinations were consistently at or above national levels; and employers have always reported Baker nurses to be among the most competent and work-ready professionals in the area.
"I particularly appreciate her commitment to academic integrity and insistence on maintaining our strong reputation," Long said. "The international mission work the SON students, faculty and alumni created, and continue to participate and support, exemplifies Dr. Harr's commitment to her profession and the University's values. She has been a sound leader with a thoughtful approach in decision-making and guidance."
Brian Posler, executive vice president for academic affairs, and Susan Lindahl, executive vice president for administrative affairs, will work together in the coming months to develop a succession plan for the School of Nursing and School of Education.