St. Catherine University announced today it has named Denise M. Baird, PhD, MS, as its new Assistant Provost of Accreditation and Academic Accountability. Baird brings 20 years of experience in higher education, both as a professor and an administrator, to the role. She will officially join the University on July 20, 2020.
“This role facilitates academic accountability, the relationship between student learning outcomes and retention, a critical component of accreditation; we expect that it will more effectively meet the developing needs of our community,” said Anita Thomas, PhD, executive vice president and provost, St. Catherine University. “Denise’s approach to the relationship between faculty and administrators is consistent with St. Kate's culture of inclusion and collaboration and will further support our strategic goal to strengthen academic excellence. I’m so happy to welcome her to St. Kate’s.”
In her role at St. Catherine University, Baird will develop and lead integrated, systemic university efforts in continuous improvement that support student learning and achievement, institutional and programmatic accreditation, academic planning, and operational excellence.
Before joining St. Kate’s, Baird was associate provost at Franklin College in Indiana, where she served as the college’s accreditation liaison officer to the Higher Learning Commission. Her responsibilities included faculty development, academic assessment and program review, and supervising professional staff in global education, career development, professional development, and undergraduate research. Prior to that administrative post, Baird was a full-time member of the faculty and taught courses in gender and sexuality, sociology of the family, and nonprofit leadership. Her research interests are in the area of marriage and divorce as well as in the scholarship of teaching and learning.
“I welcome the challenge of preparing for the upcoming HLC review, the chance to bring my background and expertise to the University, and to ensure that academic accountability is firmly rooted in your organizational culture, fueling the success of St. Kate’s,” said Baird.
Baird earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in sociology from Purdue University and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Akron. She was selected as the first Thoreau Teaching Fellow in the Sociology Department at the University of Maine.