College of Education

Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL)

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Lorenzo Baber

Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education, Organization, Policy and Leadership (EPOL); Director of OCCRL

Dr. Lorenzo DuBois Baber is Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education, Organization, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education. He also is the current Director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Baber's scholarly interest broadly examine equity and social justice in post-secondary education. His research foci include leadership within community college contexts; experiences of minoritized students in post-secondary STEM education; and use of critical theory to inform higher education policies and practices.  

Dr. Baber is the author of nearly forty journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports. He has participated on research teams that have collectively secured over $5 million in grant funding. His scholarship has been published in leading higher education journals and featured in public spaces, including the National Science Foundation website and National Public Radio (NPR). Dr. Baber has served on over 60 doctoral dissertations committees and chaired 18, including on that was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year from the American Association of Hispanics in Education (Author, Dr. Renata Alejandra Revelo Alonso). He has taught sixteen different course topics in higher education. 

Dr. Baber is past president of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC), the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He currently serves as an elected member of the CSCC Conference Selection Site committee; and member of the 2020 CSCC conference program committee.  

Dr. Baber holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies (with an emphasis in Higher Education and cognate in Sociology) from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to rejoining faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he held tenure-line faculty appointments at Loyola University Chicago and Iowa State University. Dr. Baber has professional experience as a mid-level administrator in Undergraduate Admissions, Multicultural Affairs, and Residence Life. He proudly hails from Greensboro, North Carolina.


Research Areas

  • Postsecondary access and retention for underrepresented populations
  • College Readiness
  • Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
  • Community College Leadership
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