California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Vice President for Student Affairs
The COVID-19 pandemic might be one of the most difficult experiences that Student Affairs offices have faced. Juggling housing and food issues, quarantine and isolation programs, and pandemic staffing challenges – all while striving to maintain a sense of campus community – would challenge the best of administrators. For Dr. Keith Humphrey, it was an opportunity to demonstrate once again the leadership and foresight that have become hallmarks of his nine years at Cal Poly.
In addition to addressing much of the university’s response to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Dr. Humphrey made sure that student health and well-being remained top-of-mind during this challenging time. His calm and decisive leadership provided continuity and hope. Additionally, he led the university’s quarantine and isolation program that provided support to students who tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those who were quarantined.
Dr. Humphrey’s leadership is evident in programs he has established at Cal Poly to create a welcoming and inclusive campus climate, including: the Cal Poly Dream Center, the Men and Masculinities Program, the recently opened Native American and Indigenous Cultural Center and the forthcoming LatinX Cultural Center. He also created the Center for Military Connected Students, and has been instrumental in expanding financial aid to cover student fees under his administrative authority. He also created the National College Student Bystander Intervention Study to help campuses compare their bystander intervention efforts with other universities nationally.
A strong commitment to the university’s Graduation Initiative 2025 strategy has also been central to Dr. Humphrey’s focus. His efforts include the donor-funded Cal Poly Cares program, which provides emergency grants to students struggling with housing, academic and other related expenses; the Cal Poly Food Pantry, which has distributed more than 180,000 meals to nearly 9,000 students since it opened in 2014; and the Tanklage Family Initiative to End Homelessness, which resulted from Dr. Humphrey’s pivotal role in securing extraordinary support from the Tanklage family.