Candidates come to campus

Candidates come to campus

The search for a Baker University Provost is well under way.

This week, two of the three remaining candidates visited campus and met with students and faculty members.

“Each of the three candidates will have the opportunity to have lunch with a group of students, attend an open faculty forum and meet with anyone who attends the reception at the end of the day,” said Preston Fambrough, search committee co-chair. “Bringing (the candidates) to campus gives us the chance to get input from students and faculty.”

On Monday, the first candidate, Charles Lane, became the first potential provost to tour campus and greet members of the Baker community at an informal reception at Collins House.

Lane, who is a professor of geology and environmental studies at Southern Oregon University, said he wants the job at Baker because he sees a lot of potential that he wants to help foster.

“I still consider a provost position to be a position of service,” he said. “This an opportunity to make Baker better, and I want to be a part of that.”

One way University President Pat Long said the executive vice president and provost would serve Baker is by communicating between the four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the school of nursing, school of professional and graduate studies and the school of education.

“The person who fills this position will be responsible for pulling everything together academically,” she said. “They will ensure that each of the schools is achieving the highest possible academic success.”

Randy Pembrook, dean of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said he wants to join the Baker University staff for several reasons.

“The quality of this institution is very impressive,” he said. “This school has an amazing and dynamic leader, and it would be great to work with the students and faculty here.”

Long, who worked with Pembrook during her time at UMKC, said the search committee narrowed the results down to eight from the more than 60 original applicants, and then she selected the final three.

“We’re looking for a leader to fill this position,” she said. “I want someone who has integrity, someone who falls in love with Baker.”

Sophomore Megan Renehan, who had lunch with both candidates, said each of the potential provosts possesses qualities she deems worthy of the position.

“I think they both have their different strengths,” she said. “The first one is very articulate and has a lot of administrative experience, but the other one worked with Dr. Pat (Long) in the past and seemed really interested in the students and what we’re interested in.”

The final candidate, Robin Bowen, will visit campus Monday, and Long said a decision will be made shortly after the visit.

“I’m hoping to make a decision within the next two weeks,” she said, “but I won’t hire someone just so that we have a provost. They have to be the right provost for Baker.”

Junior Matt Mills, who ate lunch with the first candidate, Lane, said he had a positive experience.

“I thought he was pretty experienced and has been involved in education for a long time,” he said. “If this position will benefit Baker, then I’m completely for it.”

Any students interested in meeting with the last candidate are invited to attend the reception at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Collins House, Long said.