Baker University Board of Trustees

Upon its inception in 1858, the founders of Baker University deemed that the university be governed by an overseeing body of no more than 32 members. Today, the Baker University Board of Trustees remains the highest governing body of the university, meeting three times annually to approve university programs, budgets, faculty promotions and deferment of degrees to graduates. The Board of Trustees is made up of civic, professional and spiritual leaders elected by the annual conference of the United Methodist Church. 

The Board of Trustees are nominated by the university president and elected by the board members to four-year staggered terms that are renewable for a second term.

According to the by-laws of the board, at least four members must be clergy. In this way the board membership acknowledges the importance of faith in our core values and remains true to our United Methodist heritage. The trustees are divided across 14 committees, each representing a critical aspect of the fulfillment of the University mission. All board committees include a Baker administrator who helps organize agendas for meetings and facilitates discussions as needed.

Board Members

Mr. Spencer Breithaupt, '83
MWI Animal Health
Boise, Idaho

Ms. Emmalie Gessner Cowherd, '61
Cowherd Farms, Carroll County Bancshares
Carrollton, Missouri

The Rev. Dr. Ira DeSpain, '70
Retired, Minister to Baker University
Olathe, Kansas

Mr. Steve Doyal
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Kansas City, Missouri

Mr. Anton Eisel, '66
Commerce Bancshares
St. Louis, Missouri

Ms. Ann Fish, '99
Chadwick's LLC, FishTech LLC
Kansas City, Missouri

Mr. Hoot Gibson, '73
Midwest Builders' Casualty
Kansas City, Missouri

Mr. Scott Grauer, '86
Wealth Management, BOK Financial, Inc.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mrs. Tammeria K. Hawks, '72
Retired, Wells Fargo Financial, Inc. 
Frisco, Texas

Mr. Richard Howell, '74
Provenance Properties
Overland Park, Kansas

Mr. Skip Kalb, '73
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.
Fort Worth, Texas

Mr. Brian King
Kansas State Bank
Leawood, Kansas

Mr. Gordon E. Lansford, III, '93
J.E. Dunn Construction Co.
Kansas City, Missouri

The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lutgen, Jr.
KRL Ministries
Kansas City, Missouri

Dr. Neal Malicky, '56
President Emeritus, Baldwin Wallace College
Millersburg, Ohio


Mr. C. Alan Mauch, '72
Human Dynamics
Overland Park, Kansas

Mr. Mike McCarthy, '87
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Mr. Gene Meyer
Lawrence Memorial Hospital
Lawrence, Kansas

Mrs. Margie Pearson
Civic Leader
Baldwin City, Kansas, and Gloucester, Massachusetts

Mr. Walter Pinnell, '69
Retired, North American Savings Bank
Overland Park, Kansas

Ms. Kathy Rainen
Civic Leader
Mission Hills, Kansas

The Rev. Dr. Nanette Roberts
Grace United Methodist Church
Olathe, Kansas

Mr. Steve Sauder
Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc., Valu-Net LLC
Emporia, Kansas

Francois Sauer, M.D.
Trans Am Group
Leawood, Kansas

Mr. Brandon Scarborough, '02
Power Group Companies
Overland Park, Kansas

Mr. Michael Seitz
Keystone Futures, LLC
Overland Park, Kansas

Mr. Dolph Simons, III
The World Co. and WorldWest LLC
Lawrence, Kansas

Mr. Gary Sollars, '71
Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs
Lawrence, Kansas

Ms. Susanne Richardson Teel, '69
Civic Leader
Leawood, Kansas

Ex-Officio Trustees

The Rev. Dr. Scott J. Jones
Bishop, Kansas Area, UMC

The Rev. Michael McGuire
Chair, United Methodist Campus Ministries


Mr. Ivan Fenwick, '08
President, Baker Alumni Advisory Council

Board Meetings 

The board meets as a whole three times a year in October, February and May. Each meeting has a specific focus in order to address different aspects of the institution.

October | Planning

This meeting focuses on facilities and strategic planning.

February | Faculty & Curriculum

This meeting provides opportunities for classroom visits and meetings with faculty to discuss curriculum updates and areas of growth. The board votes on tenure and promotion candidates.

May | Students & Student Learning

Board members are invited to eat lunch in the cafeteria with students, and student accomplishments are highlighted. An outgrowth of this meeting has been the establishment of a Scholars Day, initiated in 2009, which showcases student research, performance and art in a daylong conference. The conference is scheduled near the date of the May board meeting so that out-of-town trustees may attend.