Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- November 14, 2003

Robert Detweiler Named Cal Poly Interim Provost

Today, Cal Poly President Warren Baker announced that Robert (Bob) Detweiler will serve as the university’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, succeeding Provost Paul Zingg, who was recently appointed president of CSU Chico.

Detweiler will have responsibility for overseeing the university’s educational programs, research, library services, information technology services, admissions and enrollment management, and intercollegiate athletics program.

Commenting on Detweiler’s appointment, Baker said, “Bob Detweiler is among the most respected senior university leaders in The California State University. His strong academic and leadership credentials, his deep familiarity with Cal Poly’s mission and goals, and his understanding of The California State University make him the ideal candidate to provide uninterrupted, strong academic leadership for the campus at this time.”

Baker emphasized that Detweiler will provide critical ongoing leadership in the university’s pursuit of a number of key goals, including:

Preservation and development of Cal Poly’s academic program, with its signature emphasis on “learn by doing,” high concentration of polytechnic disciplines, and strong tradition of education in the humanities, arts and sciences.

Oversight of campus efforts to recruit, support and retain new faculty, including support for faculty grant-funded initiatives, during a period when growing numbers of Cal Poly senior faculty are nearing retirement age.

Support for implementation of the university’s ambitious new Master Plan, with special attention to planning of new academic facilities to accommodate growth and development of the university’s educational programs, particularly in engineering, architecture, science and mathematics, and music. Expansion of the Kennedy Library is also planned. Teaching and learning implications of the proposed Student Housing North development will also be addressed, including (but not limited to) relocation of College of Agriculture teaching and research facilities.

Initiatives to foster student progress-to-degree (and success more broadly), campus diversity, and a positive campus climate.

Support for increasing the number of Cal Poly students pursuing K-12 mathematics and science teaching careers and encouraging K-12 students interested in pursuing science, math, engineering and technology (SMET) careers.

Management of the academic budget during a period of crisis and temporary retrenchment in state support for higher education.

Assistance in the successful completion of Cal Poly’s $225 million Centennial Campaign and for continuation of a vital program of university philanthropy.

Detweiler will formally assume his new responsibilities on Jan. 1.

Commenting on his new assignment, Detweiler observed, “I think highly of the contributions Paul Zingg has made to Cal Poly and wish him success in his new position. President Baker has built a tremendous foundation at Cal Poly, and I am looking forward to supporting him and my colleagues on the faculty and staff as we seek to add to that base.

I anticipate that the university will face challenges in the near future, particularly because of the state's budget crisis. However, I am confident that, given the great job our faculty and staff do and the support of our alumni and other friends, we will continue toprogress.”

Detweiler has worked for The California State University for more than 35 years. He was a professor and dean at the San Diego campus (1968 to 1985), vice president of the San Bernardino campus (1985 to 1989), and president of the Dominguez Hills campus in south central Los Angeles (1989 to 1998), before retiring to the Central Coast five years ago.

He and his wife, Susan, live in Cambria. He teaches part time in the History Department at Cal Poly and serves as a special assistant to President Baker. He served as interim vice president for student affairs from 2000 to 2002.

He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, and he specializes in the eras of the American Revolution and the Civil War.

He has done a great deal of community service work, and he served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1960 to 1985 (colonel, retired). He will be 65 next month.

Contact: Dan Howard-Greene(805) 756-6000

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