Cal Poly is creating an Institute for Advanced Technology & Public Policy to develop practical solutions to social issues through the use of advanced technology, President Jeffrey Armstrong announced Wednesday.
The interdisciplinary institute, founded and led by former state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, has received a $1 million gift from an unnamed donor to help fund applied research and to create new teaching and learning opportunities.
“Cal Poly has long been a recognized leader in the fields of innovation and technology, and this institute is another important way our faculty, staff and students can demonstrate leadership in developing and evaluating technologies to inform public policy,” Armstrong said. “Cal Poly’s tradition of learn by doing and real-world engagement makes us a natural home for this institute.”
The institute will have a diverse advisory board including California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom; philanthropist Charles Munger Jr.; and state Sen. Jack Scott, a former California Community Colleges chancellor.
The institute already has created three projects: Digital Democracy, to increase the public’s access to video in the Legislature’s archives; California Energy Initiative to further clean energy and alternative fuels; and Connect Academy to explore the potential in tablet technology to close the achievement gap among Spanish-speaking students in migrant farmworker communities.