Before coming to Illinois College in June of 2013, Dr. Barbara Farley was vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn. She has served higher education for over 25 years in a range of liberal arts colleges and universities.
A native of South Bend, Ind., she grew up in both Chicago and Minneapolis. Dr. Farley graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and a minor in French. She received her M.B.A and Ph.D. in business administration (with concentrations in organizational leadership and strategic management) from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. In 2007 she participated in the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Farley is a passionate advocate for the important role of liberal arts colleges. She has dedicated her career to building strong academic institutions that inspire students to lead lives of meaning and service. Most recently as chief academic officer of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, a role she held since 2006, Dr. Farley led the planning team for the largest capital project in the college’s history; built a dynamic faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching and learning; invested in the growth of the undergraduate student research and international awards programs; played a significant role in strategic planning initiatives; communicated the college’s identity to a variety of constituencies and developed strategic partnerships that advance the college’s mission.
While at Augsburg, Dr. Farley was actively engaged in the governance work of the faculty as a member of the Committee on Tenure and Promotion, the Personnel Policies Committee, the Faculty Compensation Committee and Faculty Senate. Augsburg’s College’s motto, “Education for Service,” has shaped her leadership of the academic program and her commitment to broadening student opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.
Dr. Farley came to Augsburg in the fall of 2000 as the associate dean for faculty affairs and then academic dean. In these roles, she directed academic program operations for traditional day and nontraditional students in baccalaureate liberal arts and sciences and professional studies programs, and emerging graduate programs. She served as the chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee and the Assessment Committee. She supervised the registrar, director of library services and several directors of academic programs, including the Honors Program, Academic Advising and TRIO/Student Support Services. Dr. Farley also played an instrumental role in leading Augsburg’s reaccreditation process through the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program.
Prior to joining Augsburg College, Dr. Farley served as the chief academic officer of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., where she was a champion for the college’s review of its general education program and early work on the assessment of student learning.
Before assuming her position in Latrobe, Dr. Farley served as both chair and graduate program director in the Management Department at The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. She also was a tenured member of the faculty with teaching responsibilities in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Dr. Farley is a proud alumna of the College of Saint Benedict. She credits her experiences at Benedictine institutions for instilling in her the values of listening, hospitality, justice, community living, stewardship and respect for all persons. She began her academic career in 1985 as a member of the faculty at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict, located in Central Minnesota. She honed her teaching skills before being granted tenure in 1990 as part of a yearlong team taught the experiential learning program for senior management majors.
Dr. Farley’s scholarly interests are in organizational leadership and practice. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the role of the chief academic officer as the catalyst for strategic alignment. Her personal interests include the study of French language and culture, golf, classical music and contemporary dance. A member of the board of directors at Search Institute in Minneapolis, Dr. Farley is drawn to the work of not‐for-profit organizations that promote positive experiences for children and teenagers.
The devoted aunt of six nieces in Minnesota and Texas who range in age from four to 13, Dr. Farley is sure that that these young girls continue to inspire her work to change lives through access to higher education.