Long-time Charleston resident Ken Baker has been named the full-time interim athletic director at Eastern Illinois University, effective immediately.
In announcing the appointment earlier today, President William L. Perry said, "Ken is well-known to the campus and community; his integrity and his devotion to EIU are second to none; and his experience with athletics as a participant and official makes him extremely knowledgeable of the athletic arena.
"His knowledge of fitness and his experience as a teacher and director of campus recreation are indicative of his concerns for the development of the whole student -- academically and physically," Perry added.
"(Baker) is in complete agreement with me that is it critical for our student-athletes -- with the staff's assistance, guidance and coaching -- to achieve academically, give 100 percent athletically, and represent EIU with honor both on and off the field."
Baker was chosen for the interim position from among several nominees named by members of Eastern's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. He will serve until a permanent athletic director is in place, with a national search expected to begin this fall.
Baker has served as director of Campus Recreation since 2000. According to Dan Nadler, vice president of student affairs, the university will immediately begin reviewing temporary leadership alternatives for that area.
It was also announced that intercollegiate athletics will continue to report to Nadler until further notice.
As acting director, Baker will be responsible for the development and administration of the intercollegiate athletics program. Duties include, but are not limited to:
Before assuming the role of Eastern's director of Campus Recreation, Baker previously served as a physical education instructor at Eastern (1994-2000); an adjunct health instructor at Lake Land College, Mattoon (1993-1994); and optician (1977-1994).
In addition, he served as a football referee for the Big Ten Conference (1984-1990); a referee for the National Football League (1991-2001); and currently serves as a replay official for the National Football League (2003-present).
Baker received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Eastern in 1972 and 1973, respectively. He has been actively involved in many community activities, including the Community Unit #1 Board of Education, the Charleston Community Youth Baseball Association, the Parent-Teacher Organization, the United Way Board, the Panther Club, the EIU Letterman Club, the Trojan Booster Club and the Governor's Council on Health and Fitness.