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John Calhoun Baker, M.B.A., D.C.S., LL.D., L.H.D., 1895-1999

Fourteenth President of Ohio University, 1945-1961

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Educated at Juniata College and Harvard University, John Baker came to the presidency at age 49 from an associate deanship of the Harvard Business School. An advocate of quality in all things human and physical, and with a commitment to public service, he placed emphasis on scholarship and on programs that would foster an international view of humankind and give the University international stature.

Branches, created to accommodate the post-war enrollment surge, became permanent features of the University's regional outreach and the first woman, Evelyn Luchs, was appointed to the Board of Trustees. The extensive Nigerian educational program became a feature of the University's international effort. Dr. Baker's service with the United Nations during his presidency added to this effort.

Faculty rights were strengthened and emphasis placed on research as a basis for effective teaching. Doctor of philosophy degree programs were instituted the first being chemistry in 1956. The Ohio University Fund (now Foundation) was established to foster private giving, and the John C. Baker Fund to support faculty improvement and research efforts. Distinguished Professor awards were initiated. Students were added to committees and a faculty representative sat on the administrative committee. College visiting committees were established. The Cutler Society, a society of intellectually superior students, was formed as one of the many steps in creating a stimulating intellectual climate at the University. Terminal two-year associate in arts degree programs and programs in elective studies were initiated. A successful major scholarship drive was a feature of the University's sesquicentennial celebration in 1954.

Retiring under the provisions of a 65-year age rule he had initiated, Dr. Baker continued to pursue his diverse interests in educational, business, and international affairs until his death in 1999.

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