Title and statement of responsibility area
Ron Baker fonds
General material designation
- Photographic material
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title is based on the provenance of the fonds.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1948 - 1997 (Creation)
- Baker, Ron
Physical description area
75 cm of textual records
27 photographs: slides
7 photographs: prints
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Ronald “Ron” James Baker was the first faculty member hired by President Patrick McTaggart-Cowan for the new Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 1964. Baker served as the university's Director of Academic Planning and as the first head of the English Department. He remained at SFU until 1969, when he was appointed to be the first president of the new University of Prince Edward Island.
Baker was born in London, England, on August 24, 1924, to James “Jim” Herbert Walter and Ethel Frances Baker (nee Miller). He served with the Royal Air Force (1943-1947), during which time he trained in Manitoba. After the war, in 1947, he immigrated to Canada.
Baker married Helen “Jo” Gillespie Elder [ca. 1947]; they would have 5 children (Sharon Ann, Lynn Frances, Ian James, Sarah Jane, and Katherine Jean). In 1975, he married Frances Marilyn Frazer (1932-2010), with whom he had one son, Ralph Edward “Ted.”
Baker graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a Bachelor of Arts in 1951 and a Master of Arts in 1953, both in English. He went on to do graduate work in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London (1954-1956). Baker had lectured in English during his undergraduate degree at UBC, and returned to the University to become an associate professor in 1962. While at UBC, Baker was involved in the production of John B. Macdonald’s report, Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future (1962), which led directly to the development of a second university (SFU) in the Lower Mainland.
In 1964, Baker became the first faculty member hired by President Patrick McTaggart-Cowan for the newly created SFU. Baker served as the University's Director of Academic Planning and as the first head of the English Department. He remained at SFU until 1969, when he was appointed to be the first president of the new University of Prince Edward Island (1969-1978). He continued to teach there as a professor until 1991, when he retired.
Baker served on numerous councils and committees throughout his career, including the Canadian Association of University Teachers (1954-1969), the Royal Society of Arts (Fellow, 1971-1990), the Royal Commonwealth Society (1964-1966), the National Defence Strategic Studies Committee (Chairman, 1986-1998), the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) (Volunteer Advisor to First Nations Groups, 1988-2004), and the Canadian Citizen Court (Presiding Officer, 1996-2004).
Baker was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1978), and received numerous awards and honours, including the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), a Canada 125 Medal (1992), and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). He also received honourary law degrees from the University of New Brunswick (1970), Mount Allison University (1977), University of Prince Edward Island (1989), and Simon Fraser University (1990).
Scope and content
Fonds consists of records made and received by Ron Baker in his roles as academic planner, and charter faculty member, as well as additional materials relating to SFU's history. Includes personal and professional correspondence, reports, reference materials, a memoir by Baker about the early history of SFU, and other documents.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds was donated by Ronald J. Baker to the Simon Fraser University Archives.
Original order was maintained by the Archivist where possible. Where no order was apparent, the materials were arranged by the Archivist.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Series descriptions and file lists are available. An autobiographical sketch by Ron Baker is available in the hard copy version of the finding aid maintained in the Archives Reading Room.
Generated finding aid
Please consult the inventory for the Office of Academic Planning, F-49.
As of September 2009, all accessions have been processed. No further accruals are expected.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 27 photographs: slides, 7 photographs: prints located in SMI room 35-4-3
Standard number area
Place access points
Name access points
- Department of English (Subject)
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Finding aid prepared by Frances Fournier, Nadia Agosti, Enid Britt (June 2000); revised by Frances Fournier, Enid Britt (January/February 2004); updated by Enid Britt (March 2006, July 2008); updated by Richard Dancy (July 2009); biographical sketch updated by Jennifer Zerkee and Marcia Beacham Fuller (July 2011).