Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jeff Baker, Grossmont College's new VP of Student Services: Like father, like son

Jeff Baker, left, and his father,
You might say that Jeff Baker, Grossmont College’s new vice president of student services, is following in his father’s footsteps.

Baker and his father, John Baker, are believed to be the only father-son combination both serving as vice presidents among California’s 112 community colleges. Baker’s father, John Baker, spent more than 30 years working as an administrator at California community colleges before he retired in 2004. He is currently serving as interim vice president of student services at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif.

The younger Baker, who started at Grossmont College in June, had 18 years of experience working at California community colleges before arriving at Grossmont. As vice president of student services, he oversees several departments and programs that provide student services, including financial aid, admissions and records, counseling, athletics, the Career Center, transfer, and veterans.

Baker served for the past two years as interim vice president of student services at Los Positas Community College in Livermore, Calif. He also served as a dean and counselor at Los Positas, as well as a career technical counselor and director of the East Bay One-Stop Career Centers at Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif.

“Jeff brings a wealth of experience in student services and a strong background in career training services that puts people to work,” Grossmont College president Sunny Cooke said. “He has direct experience in leading areas that provide high quality, equitable student services to our diverse student population.”

“I am honored for this opportunity to provide leadership at Grossmont College,” Baker said.  “Grossmont College will maintain its commitment to excellence in support of student success, by holistically and equitably supporting the entire student learning experience.” 

Baker also said he is very supportive of a diverse campus that is reflective of its local communities and embraces the variety in the college’s student population, including more than 700 international students.

A native of Burlingame, Calif., Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling, both from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.  The 42-year-old is a self-taught musician and has recorded CDs featuring solo piano performances of his original compositions. He is also an avid soccer fan, who has played since the age of 4.  He received both athletic and athletic/academic scholarships to play Division I Collegiate Soccer at Saint Mary’s College, and continues to play in adult leagues.

Baker’s brother, Stan Baker, holds the highest level soccer coaching licenses available in the U.S. and currently serves as director of coaching with the Newburg Soccer Club of Tualatin, Oregon.   In 2011, he received the United States Youth Soccer Competitive Coach of the Year award, the highest honor for a youth soccer coach in the country.

Baker is one of three vice presidents at Grossmont College who report directly to Cooke, Grossmont College’s president since July 2007. The other two vice presidents are Barbara Blanchard, vice president of academic affairs, and Tim Flood, vice president of administrative services. Baker succeeds John Colson, who served as Grossmont’s vice president of student services from 2006 to 2012. Colson resigned to relocate to another state.