Davis W. Baird '76 named provost of Clark University

Davis W. Baird ’76 has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs of Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

Baird graduated from Brandeis with degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He went on to get his master’s degree and Ph.D. in science at Stanford University. He is the author and editor of a range of books and articles including, “Thing Knowledge: A Philosophy of Scientific Instruments” and “Nanotechnology Challenges: Implications for Philosophy, Ethics and Society.”

In assuming the post, Baird leaves behind colleagues at University of South Carolina, where he has spent much of his academic career.

He joined the faculty at South Carolina in 1982 and became a full professor in the Department of Philosophy in 2001. Baird chaired the philosophy department from 1992 until 2005, when he was appointed dean of the South Carolina Honors College. The Honors College is a 1,300 student, liberal arts-inspired college located within the larger research university.

“I have always believed that research is essential to the life of higher education,” Baird said, noting that at the same time, “I have always held a deep commitment to a liberal arts education.”

While at South Carolina, Baird assembled an interdisciplinary team of researchers spanning 10 academic departments and secured more than $5 million from the National Science Foundation and other organizations to focus on the societal and ethical issues associated with nanotechnology.

As provost at Clark, he will oversee all undergraduate and graduate programs as well as student affairs, university research, the university libraries and the registrar’s office.

“I am honored and privileged to be appointed as Clark’s new provost,” Baird said. “From the first I learned of this position, I have been excited and inspired by Clark’s mission as a small liberal arts research university.”

In making the appointment, Clark University President David Angel noted, “Davis Baird’s exceptional record of accomplishment and his stature as a scholar and innovative administrator are terrific additions to the University,” Angel said. “I expect his leadership will have a lasting impact.”

Baird succeeds David P. Angel, who served as provost for more than six years before being named president of Clark. Although Baird began work on campus in August, both men are to be officially installed in their new positions in campus ceremonies in late September.

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