Upon its inception in 1858, the founders of Baker University deemed that the university be governed by an overseeing body of no more than 32 members. Today, the Baker University Board of Trustees remains the highest governing body of the university, meeting three times annually to approve university programs, budgets, faculty promotions and deferment of degrees to graduates. The Board of Trustees is made up of civic, professional and spiritual leaders elected by the annual conference of the United Methodist Church.

The Board of Trustees are nominated by the university president and elected by the board members to four-year staggered terms that are renewable for a second term.

According to the by-laws of the board, at least four members must be clergy. In this way the board membership acknowledges the importance of faith in our core values and remains true to our United Methodist heritage. The trustees are divided across 14 committees, each representing a critical aspect of the fulfillment of the University mission. All board committees include a Baker administrator who helps organize agendas for meetings and facilitates discussions as needed.

Board Members

Mr. Spencer Breithaupt, ’83
MWI Animal Health
Leawood, Kansas

Mr. Eric Conaway, ’95
Providence Equity Partners
Overland Park, Kansas

The Rev. Dr. Ira DeSpain, ’70
Retired, Minister to Baker University
Olathe, Kansas

Mr. Anton Eisel, ’66
Commerce Bancshares
St. Louis, Missouri

Ms. Ann Fish, ’99
FishTech LLC
Kansas City, Missouri

Judge Kenneth Garrett
16th Circuit Court of Jackson County Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri

Mr. Hoot Gibson, ’73
Retired, Midwest Builders’ Casualty
Kansas City, Missouri

Mr. Scott Grauer, ’86
Wealth Management, BOK Financial, Inc.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mr. Jason Hooper, ’96
KVC Health Systems, Inc.
Shawnee, Kansas

Mr. Skip Kalb, ’73
Retired, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.
Argyle, Texas

Mr. Brian King
Kansas State Bank
Leawood, Kansas

Mr. Gordon E. Lansford, III, ’93
J.E. Dunn Construction Co.
Kansas City, Missouri

The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lutgen, Jr.
KRL Ministries
Kansas City, Missouri


Mr. Mike McCarthy, ’87
Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas, Texas

Mr. Gene Meyer
University of Kansas MHSA Program
Olathe, Kansas 

Ms. Melissa Ness
Connections Unlimited, Inc.
Topeka, Kansas

The Rev. Dr. Nanette Roberts
Grace United Methodist Church
Olathe, Kansas

Dr. Kay Schallenkamp
Retired, Black Hills University President
Spearfish, South Dakota

Mr. Michael Seitz

Mr. Scott Siegman, ’91
ValuGuard Solutions LLC
Leawood, Kansas

Mr. Gary Sollars, ’71
Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs
Lawrence, Kansas

Ms. Brenda Stasiulis, ’88
Noatum Logistics
Overland Park, Kansas

Mr. Gregory Stoskopf, ’86
Deloitte Consulting LLP
New York, New York

Mr. John Thomson, ’95
Parkville, Missouri

Mr. Dale Werts, ’80
Lathrop GPM, LLP
Edgerton, Missouri

Board Meetings

The board meets as a whole three times a year in October, February and May. Each meeting has a specific focus in order to address different aspects of the institution.

October | Planning
This meeting focuses on facilities and strategic planning.

February | Faculty & Curriculum
This meeting provides opportunities for classroom visits and meetings with faculty to discuss curriculum updates and areas of growth. The board votes on tenure and promotion candidates.

May | Students & Student Learning
Board members are invited to eat lunch in the cafeteria with students, and student accomplishments are highlighted. An outgrowth of this meeting has been the establishment of a Scholars Day, initiated in 2009, which showcases student research, performance and art in a daylong conference. The conference is scheduled near the date of the May board meeting so that out-of-town trustees may attend.

Office of the President


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