Dean Announced for Proposed College of Outreach and Distance Education

Officials at Texas Tech University have announced the appointment of the founding dean for the planned College of Outreach and Distance Education.

Officials at Texas Tech University have announced the appointment of the founding dean for the planned College of Outreach and Distance Education.

Matt Baker, who currently serves as chairman of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, has been selected from four finalists. He will complete a transition into his new position Aug. 1.

"The College of Outreach and Distance Education at Texas Tech University will play a significant role in reaching our goal of 40,000 students by 2020," said Chancellor Kent Hance. "Matt’s creativity and knowledge will help us to continue excellence in distance education and allow more students access to our outstanding academic programs."

At the College of Outreach and Distance Education, Baker will be responsible for the administration of graduate and undergraduate print and electronically-delivered distance learning courses and programs, off-campus instruction and instructional sites, and non-credit outreach programs. Texas Tech offers more than 30 programs at a distance or off-campus teaching site.

"I’m looking forward to what lies ahead," Baker said. "It’s a great honor to be invited to work with this extraordinary group of professionals."

Baker earned his doctorate in agricultural education in 1990 from Ohio State University. He holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s in agricultural education from Texas Tech.

His memberships include Gamma Sigma Delta agricultural society, Phi Delta Kappa education society, Association for International Agriculture and Extension Education and the National Association for Agricultural Education.

At Texas Tech, Baker has overseen the growth of several of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ distance education programs. Baker specifically led the launch of an innovative distance education program, informally known as "Doc @Distance." The program was developed in an effort to take the university to a specific group of mid-career professionals working in agriculture.

Baker was one of 35 applicants, said Bill Marcy, provost of Texas Tech University.

"Matt is truly an innovator in the area of distance education," Marcy said. "He was one of the principal architects in the first approved distance education doctoral program in agriculture communications in the U.S. His commitment to teaching and research are exemplary.

"Matt is taking over an ongoing and well-managed enterprise, the Division of Outreach and Distance Education. We are not starting from scratch, but rather taking a successful organization to the next level."