The Converse Board of Trustees held an emergency executive session early July 22 and appointed Dr. Boone Hopkins as the interim president of Converse, effective immediately. Prior to this appointment Dr. Hopkins served as the university’s interim provost.
Before becoming Converse’s 11th president, Dr. Barker served as provost and taught Philosophy courses, specializing in biomedical ethics and law, where his students explored a variety of ethical issues on the frontier of biomedicine as well as contemporary legal issues. His recent scholarly work includes essays on biomedical research and public health policy.
In the winter of 2000, he served as visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, where he taught an upper-level seminar in health and human rights and presented a university lecture on genetic therapy research and xenotransplantation. He was a research fellow at the Yale Law School in 1989 and at the Stanford Law School in 1992.
In addition to his 1986 book, “Individualism and Community: The State in Marx and Early Anarchism,” Dr. Barker has published works in several philosophy journals, medical journals, and law reviews, including “The Review of Law and Social Policy and Medicine, Healthcare, and Philosophy.” He contributed lead articles to “The Oxford Companion to the Body,” focused on his research interests in bioethics, ethics and the human face, and to the second edition of the “Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics.” In 2021, he and Converse Professor Emerita Melissa Walker published the book, “Kansas Boy: The Memoir of A.J. Bolinger,” a contribution to the history of the American West.
Dr. Barker was vice-chair of the Biomedical Institutional Review Board for the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and was a consultant member of the South Carolina Medical Association Bioethics Committee.
Dr. Barker graduated with honors from California State University where he majored in history and philosophy. He earned his Master’s degree and PhD in philosophy from Purdue University.
Please click here to read condolences and tributes to Dr. Barker’s 20 years of leadership at Converse University.