Baca Receives Honorary Life Membership in CUPA-HR


Mercer University’s Diane Baca, associate vice president for human resources, has been granted Honorary Life Membership in the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Honorary Life Membership is the highest honor for recognizing retired or soon-to-be retired CUPA-HR members who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the higher education human resources profession and long-term leadership in the association.

Baca has enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Mercer, joining the university 35 years ago as personnel assistant and rising through the ranks to chief human resources officer. She plans to retire from Mercer later this year.

Baca’s CUPA-HR service extends back 15 years, when she joined the association’s Southern Region board of directors. Over the next six years, she served in several leadership roles for the region, including director for membership, director for program support, secretary/treasurer and chair. She also served for three years on the association’s national board of directors, during which time she served on and led several committees and task forces. In 2003, Baca received the CUPA-HR Southern Region’s Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to her CUPA-HR service, Baca directed six of Mercer’s United Way campaigns.

“Diane has seen a lot of changes at Mercer and in HR over her 35 years here,” said Rhonda Lidstone, director of human resources and affirmative action at Mercer. “Whether it was through her leadership in HR or through her involvement in several university committees, Diane has been an integral part of those changes. And in a very real way, she has touched thousands of people’s lives here and in CUPA-HR on so many different levels, both professionally and personally.”

CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. Its mission is to serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. The association’s membership is institution-based and includes 92 percent of all U.S. doctoral institutions, 75 percent of all master’s institutions, 60 percent of all bachelor’s institutions, and almost 600 two-year and specialized institutions. Founded in 1946, CUPA-HR provides vital resources and professional development opportunities to more than 14,000 higher education HR professionals at more than 1,800 institutions.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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