Harris replaces Hunt, takes on new position

Peggy Harris is taking on a new role at Baker University this year.

After working at Baker for 27 years, on July 1 she was named the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies in addition to her duties as Dean of the School of Education.

Former Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, Marvin Hunt, took a position in June with Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Because Harris and her husband reside in Baldwin City, she arrives in her office on the College of Arts and Science campus around 7 a.m.

“During the summer it was about 7:30,” she said. “But I try to be there by about 7 a.m.”

Each morning, Harris works for a few hours on the Baldwin City campus before traveling each day to Overland Park, where she works with the School of Professional and Graduate Studies.

“Overland Park is a 12-month calendar,” she said. “Nothing big really changes between Feb. 15 and August 2.”

While Harris now has dual roles within Baker University, she does get support from the two department chairs at the Undergraduate School of Education and the Graduate School of Education.

“I have two very good chairs in the School of Education,” Harris said.

Harris became more involved with the Overland Park campus about two years ago.

“It was just fascinating just how things were done,” she said. “Just to see the difference and the similarities between the schools. We all have the same goals, but it was just fascinating for me to see.”

Since beginning her work as the Dean of SPGS, Harris has really enjoyed getting to know the people that she works with at the Overland Park campus.

“Business will ask us to come in and do courses for their business,” Harris said. “Just to give some information on new training. And that’s exciting.”

Harris overseas the hiring, monitoring and evaluating of all staff at SPGS, as well as helping with the programs and curriculum writing.

“My background has always been in that area,” she said.

University President Pat Long said Harris was born to take on this role as the Dean of the School of Education and the School of Professional and Graduate Studies.

“She has a sense for academic integrity, the academics, but also she knows about budgets,” Long said. “She’s a great motivator. I think she has a vision for both of those schools, and in each one of those schools we have individuals who will be working within to support her obviously.”