A new era of leadership is coming to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, but science and technology will remain at the forefront of the academic agenda for the flagship of the California State University system.
That’s because each of the three finalists to replace outgoing President Warren Baker has a strong background in science and science education — which must be particularly gratifying to Baker, who has been one of the nation’s leading advocates for advancing technology and innovation through higher education.
In case you have not been paying close attention, the three finalists were scheduled to visit the campus in late May with a decision expected before the end of summer. They are:
• Sona K. Andrews, provost and professor of geosciences at Boise State University. Andrews had a long history as a professor of geography in the University of Minnesota system.
• Carlo Montemagno, dean and professor of engineering education, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Cincinnati. Montemagno previously was associate director of the California Nanosystems Institute’s UCLA center, a sister program of a highly successful center at UC Santa Barbara.
• Stephen R. Angle, provost and professor of chemistry, Wright State University. Angle previously held a number of positions at UC Riverside, including dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
At this point, we’re not going to speculate on which of the candidates may or may not have the inside track. Moreover, replacing Baker, one of the longest serving presidents in the history of the CSU system, will not be easy. He has set standards that his successor will have a hard time living up to.
But these three candidates all seem supremely qualified to champion science and technology education — which is at the heart of what makes Cal Poly the academic flagship of the CSU system and an equal to UC campuses in its ability to attract high quality undergraduates.