October 27, 2000
For Anne Baqos, October was something of a homecoming and something of an adventure. Tulane's new chief of staff spent much of the month reacquainting herself with her alma mater and former employer while also absorbing a dizzying amount of administrative information.
"It takes about a year for you to really understand who you are organizationally and how you fit into an institution," says Baqos, who acknowledges, however, that the pressing needs of Gibson Hall will dictate for her a "short learning curve."
Baqos, who will be working closely with President Scott Cowen, is well suited for the job. A 1984 graduate of Newcomb College, Baqos turned a student internship in the Tulane admission office into a career stepping stone when she was hired as an admission officer on the day of her graduation.
"I learned a lot from the people I worked with in the admission office," says Baqos, of her six years in admission. "There's a lot more strategy, marketing and intricate communication that goes into recruiting students than most people realize."
She had acquired enough experience in academia to be hired as director of the annual fund in the Loyola University institutional advancement office. In her 10 years at Loyola, Baqos rose quickly through the ranks, working under six titles on her way to leading a staff of 20 as assistant vice president and executive director of development.
"I really enjoyed fund raising," she says. "It was challenging and exciting to see the things we worked on come to fruition." When Ann Klein, Tulane's former chief of staff, departed Tulane to return home to Cleveland, Baqos saw an opportunity to return home as well.
"While I was interviewing for the position, I couldn't get over the level of energy here. People smiled-you notice these things. It seemed to me that a lot was happening and looked like a great place to be."
Baqos is now learning just how much is going on in Gibson Hall. "Scott has both a very ambitious strategic plan and ambitious goals for the university," she says, adding that her role within the administration will comprise four functions. Baqos says she expects her time to be divided among representing Tulane in the New Orleans community, helping to prepare and advise the president for his many speaking and social engagements, working on special projects and, most importantly, "other duties as assigned."
"Scott is incredibly busy and driven," she said. "I'm here to be his extra hand." Among the first special projects she is undertaking is to work with the search committee involved in the selection of the next senior vice president of academic affairs. Baqos is of the mind that her work "will matter," regardless what she is doing.
"There are people who care about how many widgets they are producing, but I couldn't get excited about that," she says. "I believe in higher education. Working at a major research university is a terrific opportunity."
Beyond that, Baqos believes that through its economic impact and community outreach, Tulane has a special role in the community. A "Navy child" who spent her childhood on the move throughout Europe and the United States, Baqos says she has lived in New Orleans longer than in any other city.
"I live here because I love it here," she says. "And I believe that this community can benefit from what Tulane has to give."
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