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Kean University

Kean Welcomes Associate Provost for Faculty Development Laura Baecher, Ed.D.

Laura Baecher in a blue shirt smiles as she stands on Kean's Union campus.

Following a comprehensive national search, the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is pleased to announce that Laura Baecher, Ed.D., has been named Kean’s new associate provost for faculty development, effective this week.  

Baecher will coordinate professional development for full- and part-time Kean faculty, contributing to the strategic planning, development and implementation of workshops, events, orientations and faculty groups, as well as policy and resource creation. 

“Dr. Baecher brings enormous expertise in faculty development in environments very similar to Kean’s,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Birdsell, Ph.D. “Her work in developing and supporting pedagogies and research programs involving people whose first language is not English makes her a particularly good match for Kean and the communities we serve.” 

Baecher has worked with faculty development in public universities in the United States as well as internationally as a U.S. State Department and Fulbright Specialist in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Brazil, Japan, Cyprus, Thailand, Albania, Ukraine and Bahrain. She is excited to draw on her experience to promote Kean’s position as an urban research university. 

“The motto of Kean, Semper Discens (always learning), is my guiding principle, and I am deeply honored to join this dynamic university,” she said. “I am energized and looking forward to recognizing, advancing, uplifting and working closely with leadership and faculty – the engine that drives Kean’s powerful social mobility – to offer targeted and effective services to meet current needs and build a strong future for the University.”  

In an effort to support faculty’s professional journey at Kean, she invites faculty to set up a time to meet with her and encourages them to share their perspectives in her Fall 2023 faculty questionnaire

Prior to arriving at Kean, Baecher was the inaugural assistant dean for academic pedagogy and technology, supporting the City University of New York (CUNY) senior university dean for faculty affairs as a faculty leadership fellow. 

She started her education career more than 30 years ago teaching immigrant refugees from Central America in Washington, D.C. Baecher has taught in New York City public high schools, community-based adult programs, and as an adjunct English as a Second Language instructor at Fordham and Columbia Universities. For more than 20 years, she was a professor and program coordinator of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in the School of Education at Hunter College, CUNY. 

Baecher earned her Ed.D. in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University, and recently completed an advanced certificate in educational technology from Michigan State University. A journal editor and author of eight books and more than 65 peer reviewed publications, she is committed to making faculty research accessible and has been an active blog author and creator of the Centering Centers, a podcast of the POD Network that highlights the work of faculty development in higher education.