Dean Baker Announces Retirement After Over 50 Years of Service

POSTED ON: April 26, 2017

Steve Baker, vice president of community affairs and dean of athletics. Photo by Jenna Lee ME’15

Steve Baker, vice president of community affairs and dean of athletics. Photo by Jenna Lee ME’15

After over 50 years of dedicated service to The Cooper Union, Stephen P. Baker, vice president of community affairs and dean of athletics, will retire. The below notices were sent to members of the Cooper community.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everyday I've been at the Cooper Union.

All of you have been my colleagues on every event and every production for 51 years. I'm convinced the future of this environment of excellence at the Cooper Union is full of optimism, great leadership, and the ability to be the global leaders we're meant to be.

Knowing this and feeling so good about all of you and the Cooper Union, I've decided to retire on June 30, 2017.

I leave knowing that millions of people know how the Cooper Union scholar-athletes have influenced the global academic and athletic world. I've learned so many valuable things from each of you and you'll all be my friends for the rest of my life.

I know when I leave that I am leaving the college and its scholar­-athletes in very capable hands as it continues to carry on our great traditions. I look forward to sharing my experiences and expertise before I leave, and I wish the future program's leadership well as they develop and enhance the experience I have genuinely enjoyed with our great staff, administration, faculty, and students over the many years.

I know I will savor these last few months at Cooper finishing strong, knowing the students can continue having this unique, urban, total-college experience. I cannot express just how much I will miss everyone.

Thank you for your partnership in supporting our students to become the great scholars, leaders, and scholar-athletes that they are, and I thank all of you for making me a better person.

Thanks and CU later,

Dean Baker


Generations of this community have benefited from Steve Baker's great energy and spirit and deep commitment to the people of The Cooper Union. I ask all of you to join me in saluting Steve's incredible 51-year career here and to wish him everything wonderful in his retirement.

As Steve said in his message, he will retire at the end of this academic year. Between now and then, we will formulate the plan for managing our student athletics program through our Office of Student Affairs.

Many thanks, Steve, for all you have done and created for The Cooper Union.

Laura Sparks


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.