Posler moves to Overland Park campus

Story by Sarah Baker, Editor

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Brian Posler, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will temporarily be the acting dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies. The change in leadership follows former SPGS Dean Brian Messer’s recent resignation.

“The vacancy in the dean position is unfortunate,” Posler said. “Under Dean Messer, I felt they had some real momentum. I’ll do my best to continue that good work and help any way I can.”

Messer was the SPGS dean for a little over a year before taking a job at Ottawa University.

“All our schools face challenges,” Posler said. “Although (the challenges) vary by school. At SPGS, the frequent turnover in leadership has been a primary challenge, but I remain very optimistic about our search.”

Until a new dean is hired, Posler hopes to help SPGS stabilize and improve.

“I am looking forward to getting to know these students better,” Posler said. “As well as working more closely with our colleagues in Overland Park. I’ll do my best to help launch our new programs, and improve student success and retention.”

In Posler’s absence on the Baldwin City campus, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Martha Harris will fill in as the acting dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences, while the university undergoes a national search for a dean for SPGS.

“We’re still transitioning. We’re learning new things that we’ll be responsible for,” Harris said.

Posler said Harris will be “outstanding” in her new role.

“She is a Baker alumna, who has taught here many years,“ he said. “Her strong relationships all over campus will be one key to her success. Her accounting knowledge will come in very handy as she works through the budget process this year.”

Associate Professor of History Leonard Ortiz agrees that Harris and Posler will do great in their new positions.

“I’m confident that he’ll do a really good job, as I am with Martha,” Ortiz said. “Martha has a lot of experience with history of Baker and I think she’ll be able to support Baker in its mission.”

Harris is excited and a little anxious to start as acting dean, but she is determined to do her best.

“I’ll get to learn and do things I haven’t done before,” Harris said. “I’m cautiously excited. It’s always scary to take on new things. I’ll sure give it my best.”