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Finalists Named for Albany State University Presidency

Atlanta — August 24, 2005

Dr. Gail F. Baker thumbnail
Dr. Gail F. Baker
Dr. Everette J. Freeman thumbnail
Dr. Everette J. Freeman

Regent Connie Cater, chair of the Special Regents Committee, and University System of Georgia Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith today announced the names of the two finalists for the Albany State University presidency.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the search process,” Regent Cater stated. “Both candidates are very high-caliber academic leaders, and either would be an excellent choice to lead Albany State.”

Chancellor Meredith emphasized the inclusion of the various campus constituents in the search. “The selection of a new president is such a critical transition in the history of an institution,” he stated. “We had a very successful and productive process with the involvement of the campus search committee. They can take pride in the selection of either of these fine candidates.”

The presidential finalists, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Dr. Gail F. Baker, on special assignment with the president of the University of Florida, in Gainesville. Baker has had a 20-year career in higher education, as well as experience in the corporate sector and in journalism. Since 1995, she has worked for the University of Florida in a number of administrative roles and as an associate professor. Her responsibilities have included serving on the president’s cabinet; serving as vice president for public relations (May 1999-July 2004); director of university communications (January 1999-May 1999); special assistant to the provost for academic communications (April 1997-December 1998); and chair of the department of public relations in the College of Journalism and Communications (August 1995-January 1999).

Prior to working in Florida, Baker held administrative and teaching positions at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, where she received her Ph.D. She has worked for IBM and International Harvester, both in Chicago, and served as managing editor, city editor and as a reporter for the Chicago Daily Defender.

Baker earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill., and her master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She has been very active in leadership roles with the Public Relations Society of America, as well as national higher education associations. Baker has authored several books and articles related to communications, ethnic public relations, advertising and marketing.

Dr. Everette J. Freeman, senior vice president and provost, University of Indianapolis. Freeman has served in his current position since July 2001. Previously, he served as executive assistant to the president at Tennessee State University in Nashville, from January 1997 to July 2001, and dean of continuing education and associate professor of economics at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., from August 1989 to July 1991.

Freeman, whose educational background is in economics and labor and industrial relations, worked during the early part of his career in these fields in both higher education and the private sector. He was an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland,; Michigan State University, in East Lansing; and Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Freeman was director of organizational development for Fisons Pharmaceutical, in Rochester, New York, and also has worked for Eastman Kodak Company. He has additional professional experience with the federal government, including the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration in Washington and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in New York City.

Freeman earned a certificate in economics from Fircroft College in Birmingham, England, a bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics from Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois. He also holds an Ed.D from Rutgers University.

Freeman is very active on the board of trustees for his alma mater, Antioch College. He also has served on the boards of a wide range of non-profit and private organizations as well as a consultant to a number of public and private entities.

The Board of Regents is set to select the new president of Albany State at its regularly scheduled board meeting, slated for Wed., Sept. 7. Currently, Dr. Julius Scott is serving as acting president at the university. He assumed the post in July, when Dr. Portia Shields resigned after nine years in the president’s post.

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