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Finalists for Cal Poly president are all out-of-staters

Each of the three finalists vying to be Cal Poly’s next president has a background in the sciences and is high-ranking administrator in a college out of state.

Cal State University officials announced Friday that the finalists are Sona K. Andrews, a Boise State University provost and geoscience professor; Carlo Montemagno, a University of Cincinnati engineering dean and professor of engineering education; and Steven R. Angle, a Wright State University provost and professor of chemistry.

Each candidate will spend a day at Cal Poly next week. Andrews visits on Monday, Montemagno on Tuesday and Angle on Wednesday.

A forum open to the public will be held daily during the visits from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. at the Advanced Technology Laboratories building on campus.

The CSU Board of Trustees will interview the finalists June 2 and name the new Cal Poly president later that week.The new president will take over for President Warren J. Baker, who has led Cal Poly since 1979.

Sona K. Andrews

Andrews has served as provost at Boise State since 2004 and before that held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

A Boise State colleague described Andrews as “friendly and very forthcoming, yet firm when she needs to be.”David Wilkins, the chair of the geosciences department at Boise State, said Andrews has skillfully managed budget constraints in the best interests of the students.

“She has been doing what she can to protect students from the impact of the budget cuts,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins also said that Andrews would support the broad range of academic disciplines at Cal Poly, and she’d welcome and retain minority students and faculty.

At Boise State, Andrews has helped to increase fundraising, grants, and student retention (bringing the campus above the national average from below) and created new graduate programs.

Andrews has a doctorate and master’s degree from Arizona State University in geography and a bachelor’s degree in geography from Worcester State College in Massachusetts.

Carlo Montemagno

Before starting his tenure at the University of Cincinnati, Montemagno held faculty and administrative positions at UCLA from 2001 to 2006, including that of associate director for its California Nanosystems Institute.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from Cornell in 1980, he joined the U.S. Navy and served for 10 years in several senior management positions.

Montemagno received a master’s degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State University in 1990 and a doctorate in civil engineering and geological sciences from Notre Dame University in 1995.

Montemagno’s current research includes engineering of micro- and nano-scale medical devices; he has developed many patents.

Attempts by The Tribune to reach colleagues who have worked closely with Montemagno were unsuccessful Friday.

Steven R. Angle

Angle has been provost of Wright State University in Ohio since 2007 and before that held several positions at UC Riverside, including that of dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

Wright State’s faculty senate chair, Thomas Sudkamp, said Angle has worked “exceedingly well” in faculty governance and called him thoughtful.

“He wants to hear people’s opinions,” Sudkamp said. “And he’s interested in doing what’s best for students.”

Angle also has dealt with budget cuts and helped coordinate an employee retirement incentive package, Sudkamp said.“He has been successful in bringing in top-notch people in leadership positions,” Sudkamp said.

Angle holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Irvine; he has a master’s degree in chemistry from UCLA.

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