Journal Title George Fox Journal Online


Bruin Notes

Robin Baker

Baker named university's 12th president

Board promotes Provost Robin Baker: a historian and seasoned administrator

Provost Robin E. Baker, who has overseen a dramatic expansion of academic programs at George Fox since 1999, will be the institution’s next president. He will begin his presidential duties following the retirement of President David Brandt on June 30.

Baker, 49, was selected March 10 by the George Fox Board of Trustees at its annual spring meeting.

“After conducting a national search and evaluating the complex requirements for leadership at George Fox University, the board is unified in our excitement that Dr. Robin Baker has accepted our offer to be our next president,” said Barbara Palmer, chair of the board of trustees and senior vice president of Bank of America.

“I am very pleased with the selection,” said Colin Saxton, superintendent of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church and a member of the selection committee. “Dr. Baker is passionate about Christ-centered higher education and is deeply committed to the mission of George Fox.We feel like he will be an excellent spokesperson for the community and will help the university move into the future in creative and faithful ways.”

As provost, Baker supervised all academic programs, institutional technology, intercollegiate athletics, student life, and library services. During his eight years, Baker oversaw the addition of 13 undergraduate programs and nine graduate programs. He also worked with the university’s academic units to help gain specialized accreditation for the engineering, social work, athletic training, and music undergraduate programs, as well as the seminary and psychology graduate programs.

During his tenure, the faculty has grown from 80 to 180 and the university has quadrupled institutional funds for academic research. He initiated new efforts in globalization of the curriculum and helped create the university’s new Act Six program, which each year will offer 10 full four-year scholarships to multicultural students in the Portland area.

Baker has taught classes at George Fox as professor of history. His research has focused on the American Civil War and Reconstruction, 19th-century American political/quantitative history, and the history of the southern United States. In addition to his work in political history, Baker speaks frequently on the integration of faith and learning in the Christian university and he has a special interest in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Baker married his wife, Ruth, in 1980 while a student at Grand Canyon University. They have three children: Jacob (16), Rebekah (13), and Tara (12).

Teaching and administrative history
Institution Final Title Years
George Fox University (Oregon)   provost   1999-2007
Grand Canyon University (Arizona)   senior vice president   1994-99
John Brown University (Arkansas)   assistant professor of history   1992-94
Wheaton College (Illinois)   assistant professor of history 1989-92

Institution Degree Year
Texas A&M University   doctorate in history with honors   1989
Hardin-Simmons University   master of arts in history (outstanding graduating student)   1982
Grand Canyon University   bachelor of arts in history and political science with high honors   1980

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