Dr. Richard Anthony Baker’s involvement in diversity and equal opportunity matters spans more than 20 years. Starting as a student then as entry-level staff, Dr. Baker has worked at every level of equal opportunity compliance. He eventually became the chief equal opportunity officer role for the third-largest university system in Texas. After serving in that role for eight years, Dr. Baker transitioned to Rice University in August 2019 and became the Executive Director for Institutional Equity, EO/AA, and Title IX. In this role, Dr. Baker’s responsibilities include assessing the University’s diversity management effectiveness, specifically in the area of recruitment and retention of diverse personnel. Dr. Baker’s responsibilities also include overseeing the University’s anti-discrimination initiatives, including authoring and enforcing policies, procedures, practices, and other institutional strategies aimed at eliminating disparate treatment and impact on its community. In addition to providing high-level strategic guidance on equal opportunity matters, Dr. Baker has conducted hundreds of formal investigations of individual complaints and systemic reviews of allegations of discrimination. To prevent these events from occurring in the first place, Dr. Baker has provided anti-discrimination training for thousands of employees and students and has presented on the topic of equal opportunity and Title IX at academic conferences throughout the country. Additionally, Dr. Baker is the President of the Board for the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity (AAAED) which is the oldest operating national association serving equal opportunity professionals.
Dr. Baker has the distinction of being the first African-American to obtain a doctorate of jurisprudence and graduate degrees in Public Administration (M.P.A.) and Higher Education (Ph.D.) from Texas Tech University.