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President of Ohio Northern University Announces Retirement
Dr. Kendall L. Baker, Ohio Northern University president, has announced his retirement, effective July 2011.
Baker joined Ohio Northern in August 1999 as its 10th president. Under his leadership, the student academic profile has elevated significantly, enrollment has grown steadily, and the campus has shown a marked increase in the number of out-of-state, international and multicultural students. The University also is in the last phase of its $100 million comprehensive campaign, the largest in University history. Programmatically, the University has added, among others, an LL.M. program in democratic governance and the rule of law and undergraduate degrees in forensic biology, pharmaceutical business and nursing during Baker’s tenure.
There have also been significant campus additions, including James F. Dicke Hall, an expansion of the Robertson-Evans Pharmacy building, Dial-Roberson Stadium, the Mathile Center for the Natural Sciences, The Inn at Ohio Northern University, and the comprehensive construction of new and renovated on-campus housing. The University also has made significant gains in the acquisition of property and in sustainability practices in recent years, including the current construction of three wind turbines on the west side of the campus.
Robert Smith, president of the ONU Board of Trustees said, “Under the leadership of Dr. Baker, ONU has made tremendous strides toward growing the campus and moving into the 21st century. Dr. Baker’s passion and dedication to ONU shows in the tremendous amount of accomplishments that the University has seen in the last 11 years. Dr. Baker and Toby have given their heart and soul to the campus community, and they will be missed.”
Smith said that, in his final year, Baker will continue to be actively involved in completing the University’s strategic objectives, specifically working toward the successful completion of “The Campaign for Ohio Northern University’s Tomorrow.” Smith added that he has appointed John Bishop, vice-chairman of the ONU Board of Trustees, to chair the presidential search committee, which will begin the search process this summer.
From 1967 to 1982, Baker served as instructor and then professor of political science at the University of Wyoming; in 1979, he became head of Wyoming’s department of political science. In 1982, Baker became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bowling Green State University, serving until 1987. He became provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northern Illinois University in 1987 and then served as president of the University of North Dakota from 1992 to 1999.
Baker received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland in 1963. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Georgetown University in 1966 and 1969, respectively.
Baker is married to Toby Baker, who currently works as an artist focusing on sculpture and painting. They have five grown children, Kraig, Kris, John, Shannon and Brian, and five grandchildren. The couple ultimately plans to relocate to Colorado.