Baylor EVP/Provost Greg Jones Announces Leadership Additions

  • Full-Size Image: Michelle Berry
    Michelle V. Berry has been promoted to vice president for academic operations and strategic finance.
  • Full-Size Image: Lori baker
    Lori E. Baker, Ph.D., has been appointed vice provost for strategic initiatives, collaboration and leadership development.
  • Full-Size Image: darin davis
    Darin H. Davis, Ph.D., has been appointed vice president for university mission.
July 1, 2016

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-1961

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WACO, Texas (July 1, 2016) – Baylor University Executive Vice President and Provost L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D., has announced three leadership appointments in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Michelle V. Berry has been promoted to vice president for academic operations and strategic finance. Lori E. Baker, Ph.D., has been appointed vice provost for strategic initiatives, collaboration and leadership development, and Darin H. Davis, Ph.D., as vice president for university mission. Berry and Davis' appointments are effective July 1. Baker's appointment is effective July 25.

"The appointments of Michelle Berry, Lori Baker and Darin Davis will help us build stronger and strategic capabilities in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost," Jones said.

In the Office of the Provost, Baker will work on leveraging Baylor's academic strengths across the campus and building more robust capabilities for Baylor's faculty and deans to work together and move forward important initiatives, in particular the health sciences. Berry will focus on the operational and financial strategies to equip the EVP/Provost's Office to advance Baylor's strengths at the intersections of the University's schools and colleges and enrich transdisciplinary initiatives that enhance teaching, learning and research.

Davis's appointment will add expertise in the Office of the Executive Vice President as he works with students, faculty and staff across the University to emphasize the mission-centric focus distinctive to Baylor as a Christian research university.

"This is a position that President Garland recognized was crucial to where Baylor is and needs to continue to move in the future, so one of the first conversations he and I had was about emphasizing and refocusing our mission," Jones said.

"The appointment of Darin Davis, who has been so effective as the leader of Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning, will enhance and strengthen the focus on our mission across the University," said David E. Garland, interim president at Baylor. "We are committed to honoring our heritage and building our future on the foundation of our mission to educate men and women for leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community."

Berry joined the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost in 2010 as assistant vice president for academic operations in the provost's office and was named associate vice president in 2013. She holds B.B.A. and Master of Accountancy degrees from Baylor and also is a licensed certified public accountant in Texas.

Under the Executive Vice President and Provost, Berry is responsible for planning the allocation and ensuring the effective use of University resources to meet Baylor's academic priorities and serving as the principal liaison between academic affairs and administrative offices across the University. Berry oversees all financial and business operations for academic affairs, leads academic facilities and space planning and manages University compliance functions related to environmental health, safety and export control. She advises the executive vice president and provost on matters of policy and practice related to resource planning, financial management, budgetary oversight and other operational matters.

Baker is associate professor of anthropology in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences with a specialization in molecular and forensic analysis of skeletal remains. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Baylor and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Baker serves as Faculty Regent on the University's Board of Regents, as chair of the President's Advisory Council on Diversity (PACD) and is past chair of the Faculty Senate (2014-15).

Baker is founder and executive director of the International Consortium for Forensic Identification, Reuniting Families Project, a program she founded at Baylor in 2003 that aids in the identification and repatriation of undocumented immigrants who perish during migration into the United States. She has acted as a consultant to the attorney general of the Mexican State of Chihuahua, the Washington Office on Latin America, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Truth Commissions in Peru and Panama. She has been an invited speaker in many national and international venues such as the Peace Palace in The Hague, as part of the International Commission on Missing Persons Conference and Amnesty International. Baker is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and has published in national and international journals.

Davis is director of Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL) and clinical associate professor of moral philosophy in the Honors Program in the Honors College. He also is an affiliate faculty member in the department of philosophy and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Davis earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas and Baylor, respectively, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Saint Louis University.

As IFL director since 2008, he oversees several projects, including the annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture; various faculty and staff development efforts, including Communio, an annual retreat for Baylor educators; programs for Baylor undergraduate and graduate students, including the Crane Scholars Program and Conyers Scholars Program; annual lectures in Christian and medical ethics; and the publication of "Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics." Davis' scholarly research focuses on Christian ethics, the history of moral philosophy and higher education in America, with articles published in the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Christian Reflection, International Journal of Christianity & Education and The Southern Journal of Philosophy. He is the editor and co-author of "Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century" (St. Augustine's Press, 2016). An ordained Baptist minister, Davis also is pastor of Blue Ridge Baptist Church in Falls County, Texas, a congregation founded in 1859.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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