Douglas D. Baker, NIU’s 12th chief executive officer, brings a rich background in business, organizational management and higher education leadership to DeKalb. As provost and executive vice president of the University of Idaho from 2005 to 2013, Dr. Baker guided the development, implementation and revision of the institution’s strategic plan during a period of fiscal challenges.
Members of the Faculty Senate at the University of Idaho applauded Baker’s work to shape and oversee a complex and collaborative academic program prioritization process that created a stronger and more efficient organization.
Born in Hood River, Oregon, and the son of two teachers, Baker earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business-industrial relations and management from Colorado State University. He earned his Ph.D. in business (organizational behavior and theory) in 1983 from the University of Nebraska.
His teaching career began in 1981 at Washington State University-Pullman, where he was an assistant professor of management. He eventually was appointed to lead the Office of Undergraduate Education and vice provost for academic affairs for the Washington State University system before being appointed executive vice president and provost at the University of Idaho.
Baker taught courses in management, organizational behavior, organizational design, strategic planning, human resource management and research methods.
He won MBA Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards – the honors were based on a vote of the MBA students – five times: Teacher of the Year (1992-93), Teacher of the Semester (Spring 1995, Spring 1993 and Fall 1990) and Outstanding Teacher (1989-90). He also won Shell Oil Distinguished (Undergraduate) Teaching Awards in 1990 and 1984 from the College of Business and Economics at Washington State University.
His research includes numerous publications on organization strategy and structure, motivation and leadership and sexual harassment. In 2010, he made conference presentations on “Transformation: A Tale of Successful Planning and Prioritizing” and “Strategic Planning and Implementation Under Fiscal Stress.”
Baker’s wife, Dana L. Stover, comes to NIU from the College of Business and Economics at the University of Idaho, where she served as assistant dean for Recruitment, Retention and Assessment. Stover joined the college’s faculty in 1999 as an assistant professor and later was promoted to associate professor. She specializes in assurance of learning and assessment and pedagogical issues in management education, organizational design and organizational change.
The couple’s eldest daughter, Hannah, is a 2012 graduate of The Evergreen State College. She works as a 3-D artist at Laika, an animation studio in Oregon. Their younger daughter, Robin, is a senior honors scholar at the University of Idaho with a major in biology with minors in statistics and natural resources.
As lovers of the outdoors, the Baker family owns a cabin in the Chain Lakes near the mouth of the Coeur d'Alene River in northern Idaho. All four enjoy flat-water kayaking and hiking; Dr. Baker also enjoys golfing and playing basketball.
Baker and Stover also are motorcycle enthusiasts; in the summer of 2012, the couple drove their imported cycles through Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies. The president, who began riding at age 14, rides an Italian Ducati. Stover rides a BMW. They share a Suzuki.