Dr. Scott Baker
Chief Academic Officer,
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Scott has seen firsthand the impact of career-relevant education and experience for students—and its power to transform lives. He brings more than two decades of experience in education to his role leading Golisano Institute’s academics and faculty. Adept at developing student-centered, career-focused programs, Scott most recently worked at Champlain College, where he served in a variety of roles across nearly two decades. Known for his ability to inspire students to think and act entrepreneurially, Scott points to “empowering” as the Golisano Institute value closest to his heart. “Education is far more than sharing knowledge. And there’s a reason the word ‘power’ is in ‘empowerment.’ We want our graduates to have more power over their lives.” Outside of work, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife, three children, and their ever-energetic dog, Moose. He also loves hiking, biking, and taking random day trips with a vague idea of where he’s headed—but figuring it all out on the way.
What was your first ever job?
When I was 14, I started my own lawn care maintenance company. I borrowed $1000 from my father to buy necessary equipment, hoping to pay him back within 6 months. I paid him back in 6 weeks. I ran it throughout high school and had several employees.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My father. He was able to see that sometimes I was settling for “good enough” and he always pushed me to aim higher and dig deeper academically and athletically. He instilled a sense of curiosity and continuous improvement in me and encouraged me to celebrate my successes with humility.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
To think of everyone who should be at the table when brainstorming or making decisions, because the best ideas almost always come to fruition from generative conversations with people who want to turn ideas into actions.
Three fun facts
- I’m an entrepreneur myself, and my business partner and I have developed an innovative product in the pet accessories market, hitting the market soon!
- I’ve lived in 8 U.S. states and 4 different countries and have visited more than 40 other countries; I truly love exploring, and learning from, different cultures.
- I’m a bit of a reserved adrenaline junky; I say “reserved” because I’m not constantly seeking thrills to show others how I like thrills, but I like to put myself in new and slightly risky situations to see how I can adapt and learn from them.