Georgia Tech’s Dean of Professional Education Nelson Baker to Serve as UPCEA President

Incoming president to focus on the role of professional and continuing education units in shaping the future of higher education

April 23, 2019 | By GTPE Communications

Dr. Nelson C. Baker, dean of Georgia Tech Professional Education and professor of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was named president of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association for 2019-20. The announcement was made at the association’s annual conference this March.

Dr. Baker has been a member of UPCEA since 2004. As the incoming president, he looks forward to advancing the association’s mission to serve adult learners and support member institutions as they navigate change in higher education.

“In these ever-changing times, we must be agile and innovative to be able to meet the needs of our learners, institutions, and communities. As the demand for learning continues to grow along our lifetime, both in careers and society, and the number of traditional college students declines, higher education faces new challenges,” he said. “Having served these learners for decades, professional and continuing education units are on the forefront of this evolution. With significant experience and our passion for lifetime education, our units are ideally poised to take the lead in shaping the future of higher education.”

See the UPCEA press release:

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2019 – UPCEA, the Washington, D.C.-based association for university leaders in professional, continuing, and online education, welcomed Dr. Nelson Baker as the association’s 2019-20 President during the 2019 UPCEA Annual Conference. Baker is the dean of Professional Education at the Georgia Institute of Technology and professor in the university’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

As UPCEA president, Baker will encourage members to engage across their campuses and steer their universities to shape the future of higher education by opening the doors to lifelong learners. ”The adult learner population in universities is growing rapidly, and I’m deeply grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to this new era of learning in our institutions,” said Baker. “I’m looking forward to working with UPCEA members as we guide our universities to navigate change and explore ways to bring transformational education to lifelong learners.”

As dean, Baker leads a multifaceted operation including the Global Learning Center, Georgia Tech-Savannah, the Language Institute, and Georgia Tech’s extensive professional education programs in STEM- and business-related subjects. He also oversees educational outreach programs and serves as the interface between Georgia Tech’s professional education activities and the industries, corporations, government agencies and professional societies that benefit from them. Under Baker’s leadership, Georgia Tech Professional Education has steadily expanded, now serving more than 36,000 learners worldwide and 2,600 organizations each year.

“Nelson is an innovator and leader in our association and our field,” said UPCEA CEO Bob Hansen. “I greatly respect his vision for the changes needed in our field, and I look forward to partnering with Nelson and his board as we support all UPCEA member institutions in their service of lifelong learners.”

Baker previously served on the UPCEA Board of Directors as Secretary/Treasurer.

Baker earned a B.C.E. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. For more than 100 years, UPCEA has served most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. Founded in 1915, the association serves its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues. Visit