FDU Appoints new VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
June 2, 2021 — Fairleigh Dickinson University has appointed Dr. Uchenna Baker as FDU’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, effective August 1, announced University President Christopher A. Capuano.
Dr. Baker will serve on the President’s Cabinet and report directly to the recently appointed Senior Vice President for University Operations, Dr. Robert Pignatello.
Dr. Baker is currently the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at The University of Puget Sound. She previously served as Assistant Dean of Campus Life/Director of Residence Life at Elon University; Associate Director of Residence Life at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; Director of Residence Life and Housing at Utica College; and Residence Life Coordinator, Cook/Douglass campuses, at Rutgers University.
“Dr. Baker has a proven track record and commitment to being an inclusive, thoughtful and strategic leader who can pull people together around a shared mission, garner insights from campus partners, and develop new ways forward to serve students in today’s rapidly changing higher education landscape,” Capuano said. “She further is known for building close partnerships and for being a strong advocate for the integration of academic and student life. She is a perfect fit for FDU, and I am confident she will have an outstanding impact on our community.”
At the University of Puget Sound, she successfully led her division through the completion of its first strategic plan, which provided a new structure and a roadmap for assessment of the office and adaptation to the changing needs of students.
A teacher and a scholar, she has created and taught various courses on leadership, including The Science of Effective Leadership: An Ontological and Phenomenological Model. She has further presented her findings on leadership at local, national and international conferences, as well as within her institutions. The success of those workshops earned her the 2016 Elon University Division of Student Life “Cause in the Matter Award” for leading an “Innovative Leadership Workshop for the Division.”
She has also advocated for and taught courses in social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She further serves as a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) inaugural Equity Leadership Academies in partnership with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Institute. In 2013, she received the Inclusive Excellence Award from the University of North Carolina Wilmington Office of Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives.
A New Jersey native, Dr. Baker holds a Ph.D. in educational policy with a focus on urban education, an M.Ed. in counseling psychology, and a B.A. in English and sociology, all from Rutgers University. She is currently completing her MBA at the Louisiana State University Shreveport School of Business.