Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

Dr. Robert Cloud Receives Lifetime Leadership Award [04/08/2019]


Robert Cloud, HEI Award

Dr. Robert Cloud (left) received the HEI Lifetime Leadership Award, presented by HEI president Dr. Mary Darden and by Charlie Boyd, member of the HEI Advisory Board.

Dr. Robert Cloud, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership in the Baylor School of Education, received the Lifetime Leadership Award from Higher Education Innovation (HEI) at its conference in March.

In presenting the award, HEI president Dr. Mary Darden, MSEd ’91, EdD ’06, a former student of Cloud’s, said that he always set an example of integrity, honor and self-sacrifice.

“Dr. Cloud always went above and beyond, especially for students,” Darden said. “He expected the best from his students and almost always got it. He was a mentor and encourager, challenger, scholar and advocate.”

Cloud Family

Cloud with family members in attendance for the award ceremony

HEI surprised Cloud with the award at the conclusion of its inaugural Presidents’ Conference for higher education leaders, held at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) March 21-22.

Cloud said, “I am grateful and appreciative for this recognition from my peers in higher education, knowing that others are equally deserving of the honor. Our work together in the academy is critically important to the success and wellbeing of society, perhaps more so than ever before in history. As Dr. Herbert Reynolds [Baylor president 1981-95] said on more than one occasion, ‘It is good work, and we are privileged to be a small part of it.’ I plan to continue serving students and the academy as long as possible.”

Cloud is a history graduate of Howard Payne College and former classroom teacher. He holds an MS from Baylor in health education, with a minor in educational administration, and an MA from the University of Houston Clear Lake in human resource management. He earned the EdD from Baylor School of Education in educational administration. He has held several administrative posts in higher education starting in 1969 and served for more than a decade as president of Lee College in Baytown. He returned to Baylor in 1988, where he has served as chair of two academic departments, in addition to teaching and an active research agenda at the national level. His research interests include higher education leadership, law, policy, organizational leadership and governance.


Baylor School of Education graduates who gave presentations at the HEI conference were (l-r) Dr. Joanna Kile (EdD ’12), vice president of instruction, Texas Southmost College; Dr. Mary Darden, president of HEI; Dr. Robert Cloud; Dr. Jay Box (EdD ’94), president, Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

HEI is a private organization whose focus is to work with colleges and universities in areas of operational assessment, entrepreneurship, enrollment, increasing revenue streams, partnerships, administration, communications, customer service, development, admissions, strategic planning, program development, continuing education and more. HEI’s goal is to assist these institutions in making critical pivots in the face of radical change in order to advance into a thriving future.

HEI president Darden said that the Lifetime Leadership Award will be given annually at its conference, but only when a deserving candidate is identified. Criteria for the award includes more than 25 years of service, significant contributions to the success of others in the field, exceptional character and integrity, achievement of a high level of leadership in the field, and a reputation as a leader and pathfinder for the future success of higher education.

In presenting the award, Darden quoted other former students of Cloud’s:

“[Dr. Cloud’s] teaching provided a framework for learning the essential ideas, concepts, research, theories and models of leadership as they applied to higher education. Moreover, he inculcated an ethos of Christ- and principle-centered virtue into the lessons he taught and modeled for us in the Scholars of Practice program.”
—Dr. Jeffrey Savage, EdD ’05, associate dean and professor, Cornerstone University

“[Dr. Cloud] has been an exemplary scholar and practitioner in the field of higher education. The most valuable part of his teaching is his audacity and candidness in sharing his own experience as a college president, something not offered in any textbooks. I have benefitted immensely from his wisdom in higher education administration and leadership. I can I still remember the quips he used in class as well as his sense of humor.”
—Dr. Xin Wang, MSEd ’97, EdD ’02, associate professor, director of Asian Studies, Interim Director of Asian and African Languages, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Baylor University


For more news from Baylor School of Education, visit the Instant Impact home page.
For media inquiries, please contact / (254) 710-6435.


For more than 100 years Baylor educators have carried the mission and practices of the School of Education to classrooms and beyond as teachers, superintendents, psychologists, health education professionals, academics/scholars and more. With more than 50 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.