Cal Poly President Warren Baker cited long-standing progress — from infrastructure improvements to the current “outstanding group of faculty” — while discussing his retirement from the university he has led for the past three decades.
Baker — the longest serving of 23 current California State University presidents — plans to retire from Cal Poly in the middle of 2010.
“We put ourselves in a position to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps,” Baker said in an interview with The Tribune. “The campus community has really come together and worked together to develop a cooperative culture and accomplish a lot.”
Among the university’s achievements that Baker cited during his tenure are the following:
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- Growing programs such as engineering, architecture, and agriculture at Cal Poly that now are among the largest in student enrollment and best reputed in the nation among comparable universities.
Baker said that the alumni at Cal Poly are particularly strong in regards to advisory groups and success after graduation. Cal Poly’s president acknowledged that a challenge has been the state budget over the years, and calls for an overall reform in how state funding supports California’s public universities and K-12 schools.
Two possible models he presented were changing the tax structure to increase revenues to help fund education and increasing student fees while creating adequate funds for low-income students so that poor students aren’t denied access to education.