Montana State University

MSU administrators win national distance learning awards

April 6, 2012

Larry Baker   High-Res Available

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Kim Obbink, the director of Montana State University's Extended University, and Larry J. Baker, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, have been chosen for a national award given by a distance learning consortium.

The award is called "Friend of Great Plains IDEA" and is given annually by the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a group of major research universities that collaborate to offer graduate and undergraduate education programs through distance learning technologies.

Both Obbink and Baker have been involved in the consortium for more than a decade, helping to develop and deliver programs such as the online Family Financial Planning graduate degree and other online academic programs. Baker also served as a board member.

The Great Plains IDEA Friends Award honors individuals who have strengthened any facet of the organization, including development or improvement of programs and procedures, or heightening visibility of the alliance.

Obbink and Baker received the award during the Great Plains IDEA spring meeting held in Kansas City April 2-4.

The Family Financial Planning master's degree is online at

Margaret Wherry, MSU Extended University, (406) 994-6550,