Cal Poly College of Engineering budget bleeds

June 6, 2008


Red ink sullies Cal Poly’s College of Engineering and the internationally respected educational institution now operates at a deficit for the first time in decades, according to a slide prepared, presented, and distributed by the College of Engineering during the fall conference.

Former and current associates on both coasts point blame at the controversial three-year reign of college dean Mohammad Noori, the highest paid dean, adding salary and perks, in the California State University system.

Declining morale and a high level of staffing changes also plague the college. During the past three years, staff turn overs have exceeded 50 percent. In addition, six chairs have stepped down and numerous faculty and staff have voiced dissatisfaction.

Noori, contacted on his cell phone by, said, “I can’t talk with you,” and terminated the conversation.

Running on an annual budget of approximately $25 million (including student fees), the college fell short $540,000 last year. Funds to cover the deficit were pulled from discretionary, civil, electrical, and aero accounts, leaving less of a cushion to handle this year’s anticipated $1.3 million shortfall.

However, the provost office’s contention is that the budget has been balanced since at least 2001, said Cal Poly spokesperson Stacia Momburg.

Noori also is the guiding force behind a controversial effort by Cal Poly officials to provide College of Engineering expertise and personnel to help start a similar institution in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Critics of the plan contend women, Jews and other minorities will be excluded. The university expects to receive $5.9 million for the deal.

During his stay, Noori has fattened the size of his staff and granted high pay increases, along with title changes, to a select few staff members. That increased the dean’s office operating costs by about $1 million, and has generated allegations of cronyism and preferential treatment for his supporters and friends.

For example, university sources said Noori reclassified Debbie Garcia’s title from “administrative analyst” to “Administrator 1.” The name change included a pay raise of 34 percent. The salary of Noori’s former assistant, Donna Aiken, increased 66 percent, attributed to her transfer to a management position.

Momburg contends the $1 million increase in spending is spread out into other college units and is not totally due to dean office and staff expenditures.

During the current statewide budget crisis, faculty salary increases have been limited to no more than five percent over the past few years.

The college advancement department staff has more than doubled in number; fund raising under Noori, in the meantime, has shrunk by half since his arrival.

Noori’s salary has increased 11 percent over the past two years; his $900 monthly housing allowance is additional to his $213,000 annual salary.

An anonymous letter sent to specific Cal Poly college chairs in April 2007 in a North Carolina State University (NCSU) envelope claimed Noori had been asked to step down from his position as the mechanical and aeronautical engineering department head due to numerous allegations and widespread dissatisfaction.

Shortly thereafter, Cal Poly Provost Bill Durgin met with academic chairs of the college and became visibly emotional while asking the matter be put to rest to “protect the college’s reputation,” according to numerous sources.

Cal Poly Professor Mike Cirovic said, “Durgin wanted to quell rumors that would not help, and in fact, would harm the college.”

A few days later, according to sources, Durgin announced to faculty that he had researched the allegations, and that they had turned out to be unfounded. He went on to say the individual they suspected was responsible for the letters would be reprimanded.

Durgin did not respond to requests for comment.

However, received numerous reports from faculty and staff at NCSU that Noori got an unprecedented number of negative faculty comments while there, during a mandatory faculty review. The review prompted complaints of “bullying,” hiring unqualified applicants of a similar ethnic background, and mismanaging funds.

“He is an incredible bully who doesn’t respect his faculty,” said Larry Silverberg, Professor and Associate Head of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NCSU. “This place shut down while we waited for his contract to run out.”

After five years at NCSU, following the review, Noori stepped down.

“You can not dispute the level of controversy with this guy,” Silverberg added. “There were allegations of plagiarism, inappropriate e-mails from Noori, poor judgment in financial matters, and a very poor record with staff. More than half the staff left while Noori was here.”

Upon his departure, the college undertook two financial reviews aimed at reorganizing the college’s budget and Noori moved on to Cal Poly, said numerous NCSU sources.

“NCSU knew when they unloaded Noori on Cal Poly that it was good riddance to bad garbage in an unnatural, unfinished, un-sanitized caress,” said a long time NCSU engineering department affiliate.

Last October, five senior faculty members, three of whom were members of the search committee, presented Durgin with this written request:

“We represent a group of faculty concerned about the possible decline in the high standards and rankings we have become accustomed to. We are acting to prevent damage to the reputation of the University and College we love. Dr. Noori’s arrival on campus raised all sorts of expectations, expectations that unfortunately have not been met.

“Faculty are very disillusioned with Dr. Noori’s performance as CENG Dean: The number of faculty ready to sign a “no confidence” exceeds the threshold specified in the 1994 Senate resolution on the procedures for faculty initiatives to demand administrator terminations based on no-confidence.

“We believe that CENG Faculty does not wish to put Cal Poly through the public spectacle of a vote of no confidence, and request a reassignment of Dr. Noori. We believe his actions in several areas are sufficiently deficient to warrant this action and rise to the level requiring extraordinary actions mentioned in Dr. Baker’s memo to the Academic Senate regarding the Senate resolution mentioned above. Dean Noori falls short in most of the major responsibilities of a Dean.

“Trust: Of greatest concern is a lack of trust between Dr. Noori and many faculty based on promises he has made and broken. Without basic trust CENG cannot work together to reach our potential.

“Public Relations: He has not been able to articulate in an effective manner a vision for the college. His public speaking skills are lacking and his presentations are severely flawed due to inadequate control of the English language and lack of focus.

“Fundraising: Under Dr. Noori’s leadership the 06-07 CENG advancement performance in fund raising has dropped from the lead college position it enjoyed in prior years to about half; ranking barely above CLA.

“Fiscal Management: Spending for the administration of CENG has increased by over $1 Million in the less than two years of Dr. Noori’s tenure; including special appointments for newly created positions.

“Personnel Management: RPT evaluations written by Dr. Noori have contained numerous errors and are not considered to be an accurate evaluation of a candidate’s performance. He has had to retract some of those.”

Sources claim Durgin advised the group not to take any action.

“Durgin told us Dean Noori would be improving and asked us to help,” Cirovic said. “No action was taken.”

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By: Anonymous on 6/10/08

Those who claim the charges against Noori are baseless and that he is not a bully have not checked into his past at NCSU. What UncoveredSLO has published does hold water. So do not dispute his background if you haven't checked into it. The dean's search committee who selected Noori got wind of problems at NCSU. But, as I understand it, the head of Human Resources at Cal Poly, Mike Suess, instructed the committee to look no further at NCSU. So the administration actually blocked faculty members' intent to find out more about his NCSU performance. (A member of the search committee informed me of this directly.) Cal Poly did an incompetent job of checking Noori out before hiring him. Regarding the quashing of opinions from NCSU, I have asked about this too. From what I understand, NCSU employment law specifically forbids giving someone a positive job recommendation when you know he or she is a poor performer, just to get rid of him or her. So NCSU could possibly be held liable for selling Cal Poly a lemon. I'm guessing that was the motivation behind forbidding NCSU faculty to speak with Congalton on the radio.

By: Anonymous on 6/10/08

As a taxpayer I am appalled! As a resident of this county, I am ASHAMED!!! Why are we losing our donors?

By: Anonymous on 6/10/08

To Congalton Listener:

You obviously don't know what libel, slander, or defamation are. Below is a summary; the key word is FALSE.

CPStudent was right: Dean Noori is no Bully.

Amy Hughes was right, too. These are baseless claims by those that somehow didn't get their way when a new dean came.

Maybe these boneheads will lose their retirement for pursuing lies in a public forum.

By: Anonymous on 6/10/08

Did I understand correctly that NC Staters were threatened with slander suits if they called in to Dave's program? Did I also hear the college's spokeswoman say that there were libelous statements in the article? It's no wonder faculty and staff are afraid to discuss their concerns!

I was under the impression that universities were the last great bastion of free speech. If someone wants to speak about their personal experiences, since when is that a crime. If the college administration is proud of its accomplishments, it should speak out and not hang up on reporters, silence its critics or send in spokespeople for damage control.

It's often said that when there's smoke, there's fire. Mohammad Noori should attempt to put out the fire with honest discourse – not threats.

By: Anonymous on 6/10/08

Dean Noori, from what i could see as a CENG student, is a decent fella. He helped partially fund an educational leadership trip for an engineering organization on campus i'm involved in. i could see how he may have been overzealous in his spending in the aspect of his desire to help CENG clubs prepare future leaders, and i'm sad that the funds he used to contribute to student clubs wasn't brought up. I admit I am disappointed also with his involvement with JUC, but since I benefited from his grace I would like to defend him. I cannot speak on behalf of the faculty slighted by Dean Noori, but I enjoy the fact that he's a very visible figure on campus. It's nice to be able to place a face to a name. (Honestly, I don't even know what Warren Baker looks like, or why he exists except in name.) I'm very sad he's taken quite a rough beating from this article, and I never considered Dean Noori as a bully.

"His public speaking skills are lacking and his presentations are severely flawed due to inadequate control of the English language and lack of focus."

Now that quote seems a bit racist to me. I agree he does lose focus from the topic at times, but his grasp of English is not terrible.

By: Anonymous on 6/10/08

To "to faculty member":

Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about. First of all: 3 classes per week means 18 hours of classroom time (Engineering classes usually come as a set of 3 lecture + 3 lab hours). Plus the 5 mandatory office hours, plus at least one hour a day answering students' questions via e-mail. Plus the grading of 3 labs + 1 homework + 1 project assignments per week for 80-90 students. Plus preparing 2-3 midterm exams and 1 final exam each quarter(you don't think we use the same exams over and over, do you?)

And do you realize how rapidly the fields of Engineering are changing and developing? A lot of stuff we teach this year may become obsolete next year. We learn constantly and keep up with the ever changing field of Engineering.

Do you realize that in addition to teaching we are required to do scientific research that yields publishable results? Do you think these results come to us in dreams? We spend a lot of time and energy on research. Once we have the results, we then have to write papers and submit to journals and conferences.

Also, each one of us is on at least 6-7 different committees (each committee meets in average once a week) + we have to attend weekly department meetings.

Are you still with us? No?

So, next time as you are relaxing in your backyard on a weekend, count your blessings and don't be jealous of those lazy whiny professors who are probably grading papers through the weekend.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Don't attack the messenger and this is about the engineering department. Correct me if I'm wrong but arn't all of these people college professors.

Time to prepare for the 2-3 classes a week? Give me a break. 37 hours to preprare for 3 hours on the same thing they have been doing for years? Your crying on the wrong shoulder.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Read all about it @

Then send your votes in on whether our dear friend Noori has attained the requirements to be awarded "Peter Principle Man of the Year 2008" The LA Times will have a survey box when the article is printed.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

How much of this is just another sign of the overall arrogance of Cal Poly administration? I don't have much direct experience, but it's uncanny how often I've heard people comment on how incredibly haughty and inflexible administration folks are, and there have been well-publicized debacles in years past. Hard to say how much of this specific to Cal Poly — certainly university administration attracts a certain type.

A few years ago, I volunteered about fifty hours to produce a website for a Cal Poly venture, and it seemed to confirm the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. I received no guidance on the content of the site, and no one — including a couple of esteemed deans — would return phone calls or emails over several months. When I included the site in my portfolio, Cal Poly demanded that I remove it because it appeared at the top of Google search results, and even threatened to sue. They called me every month for about six months. I responded as you might expect: "Oh, please, please sue me! That'll make it easier to get this sorry episode into the papers." Of course they didn't. The impression was of some not very bright folks who'd risen above their abilities and had a lot of time on their hands to play political games.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

If Noori, Durgin or Mr. Baker have any answers for us, now might be a good time to answer to these allegations. There is proof so don't try to tell us the budget is in balance or that the records at NCSU are in error and blah blah blah. What do you have to say for yourselves?

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

There were other candidates, Noori was not the first choice but because Dr. Lee was to have been gone months ago they "settled" This guy was a disaster from day one. Didn't attend meeting, canceled meetings with key staff. The good name of CENG is being pulled through the mud. Someone needs to stand up and get this guy out before it becomes easy to get into CENG!

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Dear Shocked:

You're right: If Menon's and Cirovic's abilities were half their opinions of themselves, they would have been deans by now.

Obviously those searches worked.

Such noble actions of the weak.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

The response from Noori's surrogates all seem to avoid answering any of the issues. The staff at this college are getting fed up at the way we are being treated. Looks like we are getting the same treatment that staff at NCSU did under Noori in MAE.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

To "to p[oly_prof_3":

This is not the place to express your irritation with faculty salaries – you obviously are not aware of how much time and work is done outside of the classroom to prepare and teach those 2-3 classes. Calm down – this discussion is not about that. This is about inadequate leadership and unethical (possibly criminal) activities in the College of Engineering.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Yes, sure attack the messengers.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Sit back and think for a moment why fees are going up? It's so simple that the self proclaimed genius's at Cal Poly can't figure it out. So what do they do? Ask for more money-educations answer to all problems.

Why don't we look at what these professor's are being paid to teach 2 or 3 or maybe being over worked at teaching 4 classes a week. That to me is disgusting to hear them cry for more money and at the same time they can't figure out why costs are going up.

Like they say, "you can't fix stupid."

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Typical Noori and Friends: threaten, threaten, threaten. Where are YOUR facts. Believe it or not, Menon is not at the heart of a very active group working behind the scenes with the media to shine a bright light on the mess that faces the college. Faculty and staff do not come forward who would like to because of fear of retaliation. Noori is a master at marginalizing and removing threats to his position.

And…stay tuned for the LA Times.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

To Shocked,

Deny Deny Deny. There is plenty of proof and documents regarding Noori. Uslo isn't the rag that you wish it was.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Hey, Right-wing losers: Aside from Fox and AM radio, do you have an audience?

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Karen Velie will be on my show Monday from 4:30 to 5:30 to discuss this story. Tune in and call in.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

I am embarrassed and so was my family. Last year at our graduation ceremony in Spanos Stadium, Dean Noori dropped the ball big time by his inability to read the degree candidate presentation words from his script. His failure resulted in the faculty being awarded degrees in error while we did not get ours. Later on students got President Baker's attention who had to fix the error. Why can't the Dean read scripted lines? Good luck 2008 grads.

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Is anyone listening at Cal Poly?

How would all this affect our students who are being charged more and more tuition. This is outrageous!

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

There is a lot of hate and ignorance in these comments. GITMO, give me a break.

1) This has not made the Trib or LA Times because there are no facts

2) If Karen and Dave were journalists, they would have real jobs and not work for a RAG

3) I would surmise lawsuits will soon follow for libel

4) Consider your sources: Menon was denied both Fresno and Cal Poly top engineering jobs

5) None of these allegations will stand a fact check – nice going!

By: Anonymous on 6/9/08

Of course this needs an external audit/review.

As for 'private' funding of state colleges; it's already there and used to increase admin. pay levels. (and to lock-up innovative discoveries gained at public institutions).

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

All these trough feeding tax pigs are in it only for the money.

Give private industry a chance at public education and watch the upward swing in results and downward swing in costs.

You can't retire a fool on $90,000 a year for life and expect that they will do anything to get it, except show up every day.

The public tax trouigh needs to be shut down!

Fire a few donkeys. I want my moneys worth damnit!

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Dewdog says:

So what's new at Cal Poly? Nothing really, where is Warren Baker on this? He's probably enjoying his new home that we are also paying for. This is exactky why I vote no for any and all tax increases for schools.

Tax increases go to support the top while budget cuts take away from the bottom aka the classroom. does a great job again. I will vote for a tax increeas to obtain an FBI office for San Luis Obispo. definetly could keep them busy.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

In late April 2005, M. Noori was one of four finalists in our search for a "Dean of Undergraduate Studies". We rejected him based on our investigations. Perhaps Cal Poly did not investigate him well, because you hired a guy we rejected. We kept asking, why would an Engineer want to be "Dean of Undergraduate Studies"; it made no sense. Well our "reject" was the best pick at Cal Poly! Wow! Who had would have thought Cal Poly could be duped.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

The provost at the time was Robert Detweiler. It was near the end of the process and Noori’s selection had already been decided. Detweiler decided it was to late to restart the process. After Durgin came into the picture, more info became available. However, Durgin and Noori have a relationship that goes back decades to Worchester Polytechnic and for some reason Baker is dead set on the Saudi deal. Could there be a lucrative consulting contract in his future?

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

I can understand that an employment agency gets paid to fill a position however I'm certain that there must have been other candidates that were qualified. Why Noori when he had such a poor back ground? This would mean that the agency was following someone else's direction? Did Durgin "set up" the placement through the agency? What agency was it? If you don't want to mention them in the blog maybe you should send a note to Dan & Karen.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

This guy makes Alan Haile look like a genius.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Great article, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. Many, many details have been left out, but it's sure glad to see some details go public. Some of the dirty deeds not mentioned in the article are the tactics used by the budget people in the dean's office. They made mistakes that were so basic that they had to be intentional. It appears they were trying to get funds to pay their bloating staff. I was told directly by the people who do the department budget that the dean's office was not forthcoming with the numbers and used an assortment of intimidation tactics when questions were asked. Once again, there is absolutely no accountability when it comes to anything the dean feels like doing. What worse is that it all seems to be OK with Durgin and Baker.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

saw it coming about 4 years ago, when I attended various speeches from noori, and saw his lack of leadership, and passionless delivery, I thought, wow, I had more passion during my Poly Royal days (in the 80's)…I commented to various people in various departments in the College, and several shared my sentiments,…I've since moved on, hopefully the core people up the hill can rectify this train wreck…(the sooner the better)…in my estimation, this is about a 7-10 year hit on the program, that is, after a successful replacement…

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Time to clean house. A fish rots from the head down.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

An employment agency gets paid to PLACE employees.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

I can understand Durgin covering to bring Noori in but it doesn't make sense that an employment agency would intentionally cover up the findings of an employment history?

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Would anyone out there be surprised to learn that the upper administration at Poly had clear evidence of Noori's misdeeds before he was hired? Not only that, but the recruiting firm used and paid by the university assured search committee members that he was clean.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Where is the Tribune? I'm sure this has been reported to them. Maybe it's time for people to start cancelling subscriptions to them and encouraging advertising to withdraw their adds. That newspaper has lost all credibility. When they do run a story they usually have it wrong and mislead the public, like the EFI stories. Granted they did a little better with the Hurst/Gearhart fiasco after they were emabarrassed into it. The Tribune should run this story. Thank You Uslo for your investigative reporting.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

I followed your link.

Thanks for the fun. I loved the clown/clown's.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Regarding More on Noori's comment: "He is known to hire unqualified Iranians." Dan and Karen should look into the APPOINTMENT of Noori's Iranian friend Zahed Sheikh. He is running the Bonderson Center and came with absolutely no relevant qualifications. After failing to meet his quota after one year, he was made a permanent employee and now makes over $100k annually.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

A cohesive approach is the key to change. Professors start e-mailing each other. Copy this article to at least 5 interested parties. Perhaps Dave Congalton will do a segment on this article on KVEC drive time radio. Contact KSBY, the LA Times the Sacramento Bee, and any other sources that will be interested. Get the word out and demand action.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

I do believe it's time to request the resignation of Provost Durgin and Dr. Noori. There are other actions that can be implemented in the absence of their co-operation.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Noori loves to pull the race card, poor me I’m a Muslim in a world of infidels, however he has a long history of discrimination towards Jewish people and other groups. He is known to hire unqualified Iranians and to promote uneducated woman. At what point does the university decide that this has far surpassed any reasonable semblance of PC?

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

I'm a recent grad and a fairly new donor. I felt it would be nice to give back because, after all, the job I landed was a direct result of my education. Unlike major-donor, I don't give big amounts but I do give a modest amount relative to my income. No more. I'm angry about what's happening to my college. And honestly I'm a little ashamed too. I never saw Baker much when I was on campus, but I would think now would be the time to take some very public action.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

The faculty at Cal Poly are expected to do scientific research and publish papers in journals and conference proceedings. To publish a paper in a conference proceedings, the author is required to attend the conference and present the paper in person. Traditionally, the college has supported this important faculty professional development activity by partially reimbursing for such trip expenses ($700 a year for only one conference trip). In January of 2007 Noori announced that the college cannot afford to pay anyone for their travel and he is freezing the faculty travel budget till the end of the year. However, Dean Noori and a sizable contingent of the college administrators have attended the ASEE annual conference in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. It is no wonder there was no money left for the teaching faculty's travel.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

Noori made false claims on his application to Cal-Poly. He stated that he was instrumental in procuring millions of dollars of funding from the National Institute of Aero Space. In reality "he was never a member of the team that raised the funds". He was simply a department head at the time and had no part in the successful endeavor.

Noori also regularly took credit for being the primary author of papers that “he never penned”.

This is reason enough for Cal-Poly to severe his existing contract.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

These problems have had an effect on all students for some time now. The concerns, issues and turn over of Alumni hasn't gone unnoticed.

By: Anonymous on 6/8/08

I am angry that my generous LARGE cash gift is being squandered by Cal Poly. An incompetent Dean is taking money from my donor funds in the pot of all CENG discretionary accounts to "pay himself" for a $10k/year housing allowance when he is already on an inflated salary of $213k/yr. I will be asking my attorney to demand an audit and rescind my future legacy commitment to Cal Poly.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

How much money wasted on a failure? Cal Poly needs to re-evaluate it's hiring practices at the highest level if they allowed a repeat failure like Noori to get in and commence his unethical mishandling of his position. He has made a career out of holding our education institutions hostage with his ineptitude and avarice. Sounds like business as usual for Noori and he must be laughing all the way to his bank which is, no doubt, in Saudi Arabia. Maybe the Dept. of Homeland Security should look at this guy.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

What about the advisory body for the college? If you look it up – – it reads like a whos who of industry. How proud they must be right now…. Are they culpable for the decline of the college? Where is the leadership or are these folks only figureheads who fly to SLO for the nice weather and beaches?

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

As the spouse of a former employee of Noori's I'm ecstatic that his unethical, bullying behavior is finally being exposed. His attempts to consolidate power are toxic and affect more than just the employees. Entire families suffer. Anyone who wouldn't participate in his questionable activities had their career demolished. It's no wonder he has to pay his staff/minions for their allegiance.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

I'm sending this story to a donor that I know of. I'll also be sending it to my family who have a business relationship with a donor. Maybe a few letters demanding resignations will help push this need for change along.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Provost Durgin needs to step down immediately. He has zero credibility on campus. This is pathetic. I fear only an uprising from donors and alumni will force a change.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Every thing that keeps coming out about Jubail and the administration is getting worse and worse. If these administrators love Cal Poly so much why don't they do us all a favor and step aside. UncoveredSLO- thanks for publishing this, it seems like your the only local media outlet that actually cares about writing the truth behind an issue.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Every thing that keeps coming out about Jubail and the administration is getting worse and worse. If these administrators love Cal Poly so much why don't they do us all a favor and step aside. UncoveredSLO- thanks for publishing this, it seems like your the only local media outlet that actually cares about writing the truth behind an issue.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Noori was the chairman of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NCSU. They were smart. They gave him a provisional appointment of five years. At Poly he has a lifetime appointment. And Poly actually told the dean search committee not to look into his NCSU past.

Durgin, in telling the faculty that he had checked out Noori's past and found it clean, basically lied to the faculty. Or he did an incredibly incompetent investigation. One more example of Cal Poly's contempt for its own faculty.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

I would like to thank Profs Cirovic and Silverberg for standing up and speaking out even though threats of retribution hang in the air. Bringing this information to light to preserve our valued educational institutions should not be regarded as "treason," but lauded. Stand firm- even when you receive the inevitable call from Durgin.

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Great Job!

I remember the days when various local entities had a stranglehold on the local media… great to have you guys in town!

Don't forget that Mr. Mohammad Noori and Provost Wild Bill Durgin both worked at the same school way back when… helps explain the mutual admiration society.

Here's my take on your great article:

Have fun!


By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Is this the kind of reckless spending for non-teaching purposes by the Dean, one of the reasons why they keep raising our fees again and again? Will some responsible person PLEASE put a stop to this outrage!

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Interesting stuff. You wonder what kind of vetting Cal Poly did in hiring Dr. Noori. But Cal Poly's English department may also bear investigation. The faculty letter quoted in the article includes this howler:

"We believe his actions in several areas are sufficiently deficient…"

This is adequately inadequate, but there's also a small scandal in UncoveredSLO's English department:

"a high level of turnovers also plague the college" … "staff turnovers have exceeded 50 percent"

Pastries aside, I wonder what the rate of staff turnover is? Noori's position at NCSU isn't stated, and the first paragraph that mentions NCSU could be a lot clearer.

But this anonymous quote wins today's Zen poetry award:

"'NCSU knew when they unloaded Noori on Cal Poly that it was good riddance to bad garbage in an unnatural, unfinished, un-sanitized caress,' said a long time NCSU engineering department affiliate."

What the fug does this mean, and is this "department affiliate" a certified massage therapist? What's her phone number?

By: Anonymous on 6/7/08

Sad to say it, even to think it, but time for Warren Baker to retire.

One more story that won't make The Tribune.

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

Engineering at Cal Poly is rapidly going down the tubes. We better revert back to Cow-Poly SLO. Fire Baker, Durgin & Noori and offer a package deal to the Saudis all three of these dudes for a clearance price.

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

There is a vacancy for an Engineering Dean at Gitmo Rehab College. The weather is better than Jubail too.

Send Noori to take charge over there. Housing is free at Gitmo.

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

What on earth is going on at Cal Poly? Is anyone accountable to the taxpayers of California whose hard earned tax dollars are being wasted by these corrupt officials? How could Cal Poly hire someone with a failed track record?

Then to add insult to injury you pay a housing allowance as well. All new faculty hires at Cal Poly on low starting salaries cannot afford to buy a house in SLO & this dude on a $200k salary gets a housing allowance! Give me a break!!This is outrageous!!! Somebody in Sacramento should call for an audit and fire those who are responsible for corrupt activity at Cal Poly. Sad, truly sad when taxpayer dollars are being wasted by these guys. The campus needs an audit.

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

LA Times Reader: This is the Sac Bee's wet dream.

Better yet, I wonder if Chancellor Reed would be interested in this.

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

I'll never give another dollar to the college. That housing allowance Noori gets comes from unrestricted gifts, so you give $100 to that sweet Cal Poly Fund caller and it pays for Noori's million dollar LOVR home. Disgusting. Somebody at Poly: do something!

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

I wonder if the LA Times would be interested in this.

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

It's my understanding that Noori was turned down for a position at Cal State Fresno before getting the plum job at Cal Poly. Unbelievable. Where are the alumni and donors on this?

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

Poly will never explain anything..Never have never will…no story here….

Get a free house..pass out sick raises..its all good

By: Anonymous on 6/6/08

One more reason why Provost Durgin needs to resign. He is not qualified to succeed Warren Baker. How the hell did this Dean get hired? If all these problems are true in North Carolina, how come the hiring committee didn't pick up on it.

Once again, UncSLO comes through to shine the light on important information. Good job. Hope somebody at Poly can explain this.