Dominique Baker

Dominique Baker

Assistant Professor of Education Policy, Southern Methodist University

Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Her research focuses on the way that education policy affects and shapes the access and success of underrepresented students in higher education. She primarily investigates student financial aid, affirmative action, and policies that influence the ability to create an inclusive and equitable campus climate. She is the 2021 Association for Education Finance & Policy Early Career Award winner, in recognition of the impact and promise of her scholarly career.

Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the Journal of Higher Education, the Journal of College Student Development, and Teachers College Record. Dr. Baker has testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy on race, racism, and student loans. Her work and expertise have been highlighted by the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed, among others.

Dr. Baker earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies (education policy) from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She earned her M.Ed. in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Dominique served as an Assistant Dean in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Virginia. At SMU, she teaches public policy and policy analysis courses at the doctoral level and equity and access courses at the master's level.

Dr. Baker is on leave from SMU for academic year 2021-2022 as a Harrington Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Please see her full website ( in order to access her latest CV, additional information on her research projects, and how to contact her.