Ivy Tech Community College selects Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College announced that Dr. Russell D. Baker has been selected to serve as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Baker will begin his new role on July 1 and will replace Dr. Mary Ostrye who was recently appointed to Provost, Chief Academic Officer and Vice President. 

As Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Baker will provide professional leadership in the development of quality standards and consistency in academic courses and programs. Baker will work closely with regional academic officers across Ivy Tech’s statewide system and oversee the educational components of the biennial operating and capital budget fiscal plans for the college. 

“Dr. Baker has a rich background in academia and will bring a new perspective to our courses and degree offerings on a statewide level,” said Dr. Mary Ostrye, Provost, Chief Academic Officer and Vice President at Ivy Tech.  “He has an extensive history with Ivy Tech that will benefit us greatly as we work to develop and expand our educational and transfer offerings statewide.” 

Baker has been with Ivy Tech Community College for five years.  He most recently served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Fort Wayne campus, as well as interim Chancellor.  During his time as interim Chancellor, Baker led a team effort to successfully manage a 35 percent increase in enrollment for Fall 2009 and a 45 percent increase for Spring 2010.  He also opened a new Student Life Center in 2009 and Technology Center in 2010.  

As Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Baker was responsible for academic program instruction, curriculum, faculty and oversight throughout the region.  He facilitated the addition of new degree programs in Aviation Maintenance Technology, Building Construction Management and Health Care Support, as well as developed new transfer agreements with IPFW, Defiance College, Huntington University, Indiana Tech, Manchester College, Trine University and University of St. Francis. 

In addition, he also serves as co-champion for one of Ivy Tech’s strategic planning initiatives and served as committee co-chair for developing the global competitiveness institutional strategy.  He is also a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission. 

Prior to his career at Ivy Tech, Baker spent nearly 20 years at the Indiana Institute of Technology where he served multiple leadership roles.  He served as Associate Vice President of the College of Business and Arts for six years. In that role he served as the primary academic management officer for the business division and provided direction for the recruitment, selection, supervision and professional development of all academic personnel in the division including both adjunct and full-time professors.  He also served as Associate Dean of Students for seven years and was responsible for all aspects of the Freshman College division, which included registration and academic advising of all first-year students.  He began his career at the Indiana Institute of Technology in 1987 as director of Student Support Services where he was responsible for implementing all aspects of the new federally-sponsored Student Support Services project, including hiring student and professional personnel, meeting required records and providing direct services to students. 

Baker began his professional career at Huntington College (now Huntington University) in 1983 as an admissions representative where he was responsible for student recruitment in northern Indiana and Michigan. 

A native of Michigan, Dr. Baker earned his Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Ball State University, a Master of Arts in History from Kent State University, and a Bachelor’s in History from Huntington University. 

Dr. Baker has been actively involved in community service activities, including serving on the board of directors of the East Wayne Street Center, the Greater Fort Wayne Campus Ministry, the Indiana Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, the advisory committee for Project READS, and as a volunteer for the “Real Men Read” initiative sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a board member for Junior Achievement and for Questa Foundation for Education, serving as Board Vice Chair. As an avocation, Dr. Baker has been a high school basketball official for the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) for 25 years.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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