Vicki Baker

Professor, Department of Economics and Management
From Ford City, PA

Independent Professor of the Day

Vicki L. Baker is a Professor of Economics & Management at Albion College and an Instructor of Business Administration for the Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus.

Prior to becoming a faculty member, Vicki held administrative positions at Harvard Business School’s Executive Education division and worked in industry at AK Steel Corporation. Baker studies the role of relationships (mentoring, developmental) in professional and personal development with a particular focus on graduate students and faculty members. She also studies liberal arts colleges both in terms of institutional change and the faculty experience. Baker is the Principal Investigator for a study titled the Initiative for Faculty Development in Liberal Arts Colleges (IFDLAC) and on the development of an Academic Leadership Institute for mid-career faculty in the Great Lakes Colleges Association funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The National Science Foundation and Chemical Bank have also funded her work.

Vicki’s most recent research has appeared in Journal of Higher Education, Identity Journal, Mentoring & Tutoring, and Journal of Faculty Development. Her current work is continuing to focus on the faculty experience in liberal arts colleges with a particular focus on mid and late career. She has published 50 peer reviewed journal articles as well as book and monograph chapters.  She has a forthcoming book (with colleagues Laura Lunsford and Meghan Pifer) published by Rutgers University Press titled – Developing Faculty in Liberal Arts Colleges: Aligning Individual Needs and Organizational Goals. Vicki consults with corporations and higher education institutions in the areas of leadership development, change management, mentoring programming, and faculty development.

Favorite class to teach

Management Consulting

Proudest accomplishment in the classroom

My proudest accomplishment in the classroom is seeing students come in as 17/18 year olds and develop into this inquisitive, thoughtful, and engaged adults when they leave us four years later.  Such a humbling responsibility we have as educators.

Advantage of teaching at a smaller school

The personal relationships we develop with students is the advantage of teaching at a small school. I have been to weddings, baby showers, helped negotiate job contracts, and attended family events.  I love this aspect of working at a small school.

Next big goal

I think I am always thinking about what's the next phase of my career and in that phase, how can I help a targeted population in need.  My research has followed my career trajectory - my disseration and early work focused on doctoral students and doctoral education.  As I moved through the faculty ranks, I began studying the faculty experience, particularly in liberal arts colleges.  I am focused on mid-career faculty right now and hope to develop programming to better support these individuals given they are the next generation of faculty leaders in institutions of higher education and they have limited career stage specific supports and I, along with my colleagues, hope to address that research and practice.

My motivation

My students motivate me; my amazing colleages across Albion's campus motivate me, and my family motivate me.  I'm blessed with a great partner and co-author in life and we have two amazing children that we adore. Life doesn't get better than that!

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