Candidate brings ‘well-rounded’ experience

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Candidate brings ‘well-rounded’ experience

Story by Sara Bell, Editor

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The Presidential Search Committee will take feedback from each of the candidate visits and hopes to announce the 29th university president the first week in December.

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When Carolyn Stefanco, the third finalist for the 29th university presidency, first saw an advertisement for the position, she knew Baker was “something special.”

Then after conversations with Julie Tea, a consultant for the Association of Governing Boards, about the transparency of the university’s search prospectus, Stefanco knew Baker was an institution where she could be herself.

“I really want to be who I am, and I want to be the authentic person,” Stefanco said. “And when you act in a way that reflects who you really are on the inside, then I think you’re really destined for success.”

As the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college for Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Stefanco has experience with liberal arts colleges and believes in the value of these institutions.

“Baker for me, combines an ability to be at a small, liberal arts college … and to draw on what I know to be true — liberal arts education really transforms lives,” Stefanco said.

The former Fulbright scholar said she was not only attracted to Baker for its education but its principles as well.

“I also think it’s the values of Baker that really have drawn me and drawn (my husband) here,” Stefano said. “The commitment to community, the commitment to character building mostly for students, but also for faculty, staff and administrators, so that we are all the best people we can be as a result of our connection to Baker.”

Throughout her career in higher education, Stefanco has worked in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, California and Georgia. Hoot Gibson, chair of the presidential search committee, also noted Stefanco’s role at nearly every level of a university.

“She’s been a professor, a department chair, a dean, higher education administrator and ex officio trustee, so a very well-rounded individual,” Gibson said.

Before accepting her current position at Agnes Scott College, Stefanco was a director of women’s studies, department chair of history and special assistant to the dean for faculty development. She was also the founding dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Stanislaus.