Minnesota educator named provost

An administrator with experience in higher education, state and federal government, and public education has been named the new provost and vice president for academic affairs at BGSU. The board of trustees on June 22 approved the hiring of Dr. Shirley Baugher to the position. She also will hold the rank of professor with tenure in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Baugher is dean emeritus of the College of Human Ecology at the University of Minnesota, where she is also a professor in the Department of Family Social Science. From 2000-06, she was dean of the college, which was ranked second nationally among its peers.

As part of the strategic planning process at Minnesota, the programs of the college—which comprised the departments of family social science, design, housing and apparel, social work and nutritional sciences—were recently realigned with newly defined colleges. Baugher oversaw the closing of the college and the transition of the programs to their new areas.

Under her leadership, the college’s undergraduate enrollment increased 19.5 percent and its graduate enrollment, 38.7 percent; the diversity of the staff increased from 9 percent to 13 percent; cooperative agreements for faculty and student exchanges were established in a number of countries; means were developed to support technologically enhanced teaching, research and outreach for the college, and the first collegiate national advisory council with corporate and community representation was established.

Baugher identifies six primary areas of focus throughout her career: strategic planning and positioning, development and support of teams, building public and private partnerships, creating systems for supporting and defining academic excellence, enhancement and stewardship of financial resources and creating sustaining environments to support diverse people.

Some of those focal points were among the major factors in her appointment at BGSU, said President Sidney Ribeau, citing “her demonstrated leadership ability in previous positions, extensive experience in strategic planning and commitment to diversity and University engagement.”

From 1992-2000, Baugher was chair and professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with an enrollment of 500 undergraduate and 80 graduate students. There, she oversaw the merger of two departments to create the new Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, revising both the undergraduate and graduate curricula.

Baugher worked in the federal arena from 1990-92 as deputy administrator of extension services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her responsibilities included leadership of programs in nutrition, family life, child development, family financial management and housing. She coordinated with government agencies as well as with land grant universities in states and territories.

Before her government service, from 1983-90, Baugher was assistant dean and assistant director of extension programs and coordinator of international programs at the College of Human Ecology and Minnesota Extension System at the University of Minnesota.

She has also worked for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as director of vocational home economic education, and for the public school system in Waynesville, Mo., as director of a project for individual learning. She began her career in education as a public school teacher in home economics and special education. 

Baugher has received external support for her research projects totaling $1.93 million and has given more than 70 presentations to professional societies and at conferences. She has published widely on leadership in higher education, as well as on family and community diversity. She is also a published poet and a member of the American Academy of Poets.

She received her Ph.D. in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1982, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman University) in 1971, and a bachelor of education degree from Northeast Missouri in 1970.

She has received awards and honors for leadership, community service and service to students of color, and was a Fellow in the W.K. Kellogg Leadership Program of the Kellogg Foundation in 1987 and 1990.

June 25, 2007