John Barker named to new leadership position
John Barker ‘09W (PhD) says his goals for higher education have always included three tenets: “access, equity, and social justice for all.” As of March 1, he is fulfilling those missions at Rochester in the newly created role as senior associate dean of the faculty for Arts, Sciences & Engineering.
Barker, who most recently was dean of international education at Tufts University, served in various roles at Rochester earlier in his career. He worked in residential life and at the David T. Kearns Center from 2000 to 2007, where he was assistant director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program.
“I’m thrilled to be back here,” says Barker. “I’m eager to talk to as many people on campus as I can to find out what the community wants.”
Reporting to interim dean of the faculty Rick Waugh, Barker will lead in the creation and implementation of programs to promote faculty professional development, particularly in the context of improving workplace culture. As faculty ombudsperson, he’ll provide resources for faculty related to climate, family-friendly policies, and career advancement.
One of the first items on his agenda is to oversee a programmatic expansion of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies.
“I want to bring a connection and overall experience that puts the centers in the spotlight and gives them the national recognition they deserve,” Barker says. “[Anthony and Douglass] are two prominent figures in Rochester and US history. There’s lot of work that can be done in those centers regarding social justice and equity and research that connects them to other centers around the country and brings a vision that everyone can recognize.”
He’ll also help to add faculty positions and eventually develop new programs and coursework that supports the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
Waugh says Barker is the right person for this job.
“When we were starting the strategic planning process last summer, it struck me that we have a huge opportunity to expand our commitment to diversity by capitalizing on Rochester’s historical roots as represented by the SBAI and the FDI,” he says. “John is the perfect individual to lead our efforts to enhance these signature programs, both reputationally and in programmatic scope.”
Barker, a Rochester native, lives in the suburb of Webster with his wife, Sarah, and children Owen, 8, and Nina, 6.
Jim Mandelaro, March 2018 (Read the original Newscenter story here)