Baehr named special assistant to the president at Coe

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2015-12-18 09:39:48 - General

Marie Baehr, Ph.D.
Marie Baehr, Ph.D.

Marie Baehr, the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Coe College, has been named special assistant to the president, effective July 1, 2016. In her new role, Baehr will work directly with Coe President David McInally on special projects as the college's new five-year strategic plan is implemented.

Baehr currently leads the faculty as Coe's chief academic officer, with overall responsibility for the college's academic programs and policies.

"Marie has made great contributions to Coe’s academic program during her tenure as Dean," said McInally. "I'm grateful that she will transition into a new role, in which she will be working with me on special projects to enhance not only academics, but the college as a whole."

When Baehr assumed her current position in the fall of 2007, she announced her goals that included increasing the number of faculty and the percentage of women faculty, finding processes to encourage students to apply for and receive national fellowships and scholarships, and better leveraging Coe’s affiliation with the ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest).

During her tenure, Baehr has worked to increase the number of full-time faculty from 83 to 96, with new additions as well as through combining part-time positions to full-time positions in specific academic departments. When she came to Coe, 30 percent of faculty members were women. Today, 41 of the 94 occupied faculty positions are women, or 43 percent of the faculty.

Baehr is especially proud of the impact she has had on Coe students receiving national fellowships and scholarships. For the second time in three years, Coe was named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright scholars. Coe has established itself as a leading national producer of Fulbright scholars, with 15 awardees in the past four years alone.

Over Marie's time as Dean, Coe has received more than $600,000 from the ACM to support faculty development programs. Within the ACM, Coe was awarded four of the 28 post-doctoral fellowships supported by a Mellon grant to the consortium. This funded post-doctoral fellows in anthropology, art history, gender studies and environmental ethics to be a part of Coe’s campus for two years each. Five Coe faculty members have served as directors of ACM programs - in Botswana, Florence, England and Japan. In addition, 14 Coe faculty members have received faculty enhancement grants through the ACM FaCE program to support their initiatives. Finally, nine Coe faculty members were chosen for the ACM's Seminar in Advance Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL) program have been chosen in each of the last three years - with only four colleges represented each year.

"When I came to Coe, I set specific goals that I believed would enhance the academic opportunities for both students and faculty," said Baehr. "I'm pleased to have accomplished these goals, which have led to Coe enjoying an enhanced academic reputation, with accomplished faculty who are better positioned to serve our students."

To complement her Coe responsibilities, Baehr works with the Higher Learning Commission, and she is now one of 20 academic leaders across the region who serves as a mentor for the HLC's Persistence and Completion Academy and Assessment Academy. This has allowed Coe administrators and faculty to remain knowledgeable of federal regulations and best practices.

Baehr came to Coe with an accomplished academic background, both as a teacher and as a scholar. In 1988, Baehr began teaching physics at Elmhurst College in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. She was promoted to full professor in 1999, and served as chair of the physics department for two years. For the nine years before coming to Coe, she had served as associate dean of the faculty at Elmhurst, where her responsibilities included the oversight of academic programs, faculty development, and assessment of student learning. Along with teaching, Baehr has authored four textbooks and continues to update subsequent editions of those texts.

Baehr earned her bachelor's degree with honors in mathematical sciences and physics at Denison University, a master's degree in physics from the University of New Hampshire, and a Ph.D. in physics from The Ohio State University. She also completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University.