Cal Poly Provost reassigned?
September 30, 2008
By KAREN VELIE
Cal Poly President Warren Baker announced that Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost William Durgin has been reassigned, on Monday. Durgin will now serve as the university’s executive for research and external support.
“Durgin has provided outstanding leadership of the university and we are grateful for the significant accomplishments made during his tenure as provost,” Baker says in a press release.
Nevertheless, sources claim Durgin’s “demotion” from second in command has more to do with internal power struggles, issues with the proposed Saudi program, and problems finessing the media.
Durgin faithfully backed College of Engineering Dean Mohammad Noori’s controversial plan to partner Cal Poly with a Saudi Arabian university. Opponents claim the plan would exclude many Cal Poly faculty — women, Jews and specific minorities such as gays — from involvement.
Saudi officials have not agreed to the latest contract, rewritten to protect Cal Poly’s interests.
Robert Koob will serve as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs as of October 6.
Back in the 1990s, during a previous budget crisis, Baker appointed Koob to serve as senior vice president and vice president for academic affairs. Known by faculty and staff as “The hatchet man,” Koob axed tenured faculty and entire departments.