Warren Baker to retire from Poly
December 7, 2009
Dear Cal Poly Faculty, Staff and Administrators:
I am writing to tell you I have informed the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees that I intend to retire from the Presidency of Cal Poly at the end of this academic year. I have agreed to stay until the next president is selected and can assume the Presidency. You will soon hear more about the campus involvement in the selection process, which will begin early next quarter. (A brief overview of the process is included in the official University press release: http://www.calpolynews.calpoly.edu/news_releases/2009/December/wjbaker_retirement.html)
For the last 30 years I have been extremely fortunate to work with such outstanding colleagues. All of you are truly exceptional in your dedication to our students and in your strong spirit of cooperation. What we have accomplished together over the past three decades could not have happened without this cooperation and the mutual respect that exists in our community.
In spite of the difficult economic times we now face, Cal Poly has a bright and secure future. I am confident saying that because of your talent and dedication. You will make sure Cal Poly successfully manages through these challenges. You have made sure the University is well positioned to continue to excel and serve California’s needs.
The most recent updating of the Strategic Plan has benefitted from broad participation across the campus as well as from our Alumni, friends and advisors. It has guided the focus for the WASC accreditation study and defined the important questions that need research and continued study. The Cal Poly Mission, Vision, Goals, Values and Learning Objectives are clear and impressive. The stage has been set for the next major capital campaign which will most certainly be successful because Cal Poly has an excellent story to tell.
Cal Poly will continue to make progress in the near term as well. The Legislature and the Governor, thanks to the assistance of our industry partners, have approved state capital funding of $105 million for the Science Center, and $19 million has been committed in private funds. The Center has been designed with visionary programming by the faculty and staff, and we are optimistic that construction will begin soon.
We have clearly experienced some disappointment because of the uncertainty about the future of the Cal Poly Plan. This Plan, introduced 13 years ago and strongly endorsed by our Board of Trustees, established a compact with our students to apply fees approved by the students to improve quality, expand access to classes, reduce the time to complete a degree and provide the support needed for a comprehensive polytechnic university that was no longer recognized in the State funding formula. The economic crisis in California, requiring unprecedented budget reductions for higher education and the need to increase the State University Fees by more than 30 percent, has delayed implementation of the most recent phase of the Cal Poly Plan college based fee approved overwhelmingly by our students. I have had several discussions with the Chancellor about this delay and he has assured me “that there is no doubt that Cal Poly will be able to continue the Cal Poly Plan.”
Finally, and most important: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you.
With my deepest respect and warmest regards,