College of Ed hires director of college relations

Paul M. Baker
Paul M. Baker

Paul M. Baker is the new director of the Office of College Relations in the NIU College of Education.

The office was created in July 2011 to consolidate COE’s alumni relations, event planning, communications and development activities. Baker, whose 20-year career includes leadership positions in higher education, industry, public relations and journalism, started June 18.

Baker’s initial goal, Dean La Vonne I. Neal said, is to make operational COE’s integrated marketing and communication plan. The blueprint was developed to help increase the college’s visibility and recognition at the regional, state, national and global levels.

“Essential to the entire plan is our desire to present a consistent message to a number of distinct audiences, including alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors and policy makers,” Neal said. “Paul’s task is to tell the college’s story in unique and compelling ways to each of these constituencies.”

Before joining NIU, Baker was director of Advancement Communications at DePaul University in Chicago.

While at DePaul, he was instrumental in creating and overseeing communication programs that supported the university’s alumni relations and development activities, including its $250 million “Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign,” the largest fundraising effort in the school’s history.

Baker also spent five years at the Northbrook, Ill.-based product safety-testing giant Underwriters Laboratories, leading the company’s media relations department.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina State University. He and his wife, Janice, live in Chicago.

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