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Cal Poly, Professor Earn High Ranks for Research in Accounting Education, Ethics

Cal Poly ranked No. 32 overall for research in accounting education and accounting professor Steven Mintz ranked No. 41 for scholars publishing in accounting education since 2008, according to recent survey in the journal Issues in Accounting Education. The top industry research journals were surveyed to establish ranking for universities and scholars with the greatest contributions to the discipline. Some 1,600 universities across the nation were surveyed including Bentley, Baylor, San Diego State, Ohio State University and Cal Poly. Mintz, who teaches in the in the Orfalea College of Business, ranked No. 5 for coauthor-adjusted articles in business-ethics journals and No. 2 for specific accounting ethics journals. The research also ranked him No. 7 for his research in sole-authored publications and No. 4 for co-authored publications. More on the rankings

Cal Poly Pledges to Help Expand College Access at White House Event
University President Jeffrey D. Armstrong Attends Washington, D.C., Summit

Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong joined President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Biden and hundreds of other university presidents and higher education leaders today to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college. The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support President Obama’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. Participants were asked to commit to new actions relating to: building networks of colleges focused on promoting completion; creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness; investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative; and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. More on the White House initiatives

Cal Poly Fall 2014 Commencement Set for December 13

Approximately 835 students are eligible to graduate in three ceremonies at Cal Poly’s fall commencementSaturday, Dec. 13. Ceremonies are set for 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the main gymnasium in the ASI Recreation Center. A few new elements will be integrated into the fall commencement ceremonies, including a retrospective slideshow of the graduating students during the processional, the “proud pinning” ceremony, and a celebratory surprise. In addition, a large LED screen will be set up to project the ceremony for all guests to see. The ceremony will be live streamed online with closed captioning for those unable to attend. More on Fall 2014 Commencement

Orfalea College Names Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Relations

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business recently named Mary Kelting as the college’s new assistant dean for advancement and external relations. Kelting will oversee the college’s communications and fundraising efforts in addition to growing the Dean’s Advisory Council with Dean Scott Dawson. Kelting formerly served for more than two years as the director of development for the university’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE). She was instrumental in building significant financial and community support for the CIE as it introduced new programs. She also successfully rallied a network of entrepreneurs who have supported and advised the CIE and its student entrepreneurs to achieve notable success. More on Mary Kelting

Cal Poly Mustang Mascot Name Honors Past President Margaret Chase

Cal Poly has chosen a name for its live mustang mascot: Chase. This name will be the ceremonial title under which all current and future members of the Cal Poly Mustang Herd will serve the university. The name honors a pivotal figure in Cal Poly history: Margaret Chase, the university’s second president and the only woman so far to hold the post. Chase served on an interim basis for one year, 1924, between the resignation of Nicholas Riccardi and the appointment of Benjamin Crandall. Her impact on the university, though, lasted much longer. Chase came to Cal Poly in 1908 as a member of the English faculty. Under Riccardi, she served as vice president and head of the Academic Department — a position similar to today’s provost, the university’s No. 2 job. In that role, she was instrumental in securing Cal Poly’s accreditation from the University of California. Catherine Trujillo, a curator at Cal Poly’s Robert E. Kennedy Library and the mother of a Cal Poly freshman, submitted the winning entry. She was inspired by two connotations of the word. “It is a metaphor to encourage our community of scholars to always pursue and chase after their dreams,” she said in her submission. “It is also a throwback to our campus history and the powerful women who helped Cal Poly become what it is today.” More on Chase

Cal Poly Adds $1.4 Billion to Region’s Economy, New Study Shows

Cal Poly contributes more than $1.4 billion to the economy of San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara counties, according to a new analysis prepared for the university. “Cal Poly is a vital and positive economic force on the Central Coast,” said university President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “It is one of the region’s top employers and most stable employers, helping the area weather economic downturns.” According to the study, Cal Poly students also contribute to the community’s economic vitality. Not only do the more than 19,000 students purchase goods and services from local businesses, they also pay more than $11 million in local taxes while providing more than $2 million in volunteer labor to a host of nonprofit organizations from Paso Robles to Santa Maria. The university “plays a key role in generating, developing and stabilizing the region’s economy,” said the report, which analyzed Cal Poly’s contributions to the region based on economic data collected in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The 60-page study was conducted by San Luis Obispo-based Productive Impact LLC. To read the full report, visit More on the economic study

Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer Pledge $20 Million to Cal Poly — Largest Cash Gift in University’s History

Cal Poly has announced the largest cash gift ever received by the university, a $20 million donation by Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer to the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences. Their gift will be used to build critical new facilities for the college and modernize many of the existing teaching units in the Animal Science Department. The Oppenheimers will also continue to support areas of ongoing need, such as the Cal Poly Scholars program, as well as the university’s meal voucher program and the new Food Pantry to help alleviate hunger on campus.  More on the Oppenheimers' gift

Cal Poly Set to Update Master Plan for Future Campus Development

Cal Poly announced it is preparing to update its plan for developing the campus over the next 20 years to meet student educational needs and the local, state and regional demand for its graduates. The university is beginning a two-year process to update the campus master plan, which will determine physical needs and guide future development of the lands, circulation systems and facilities necessary to support the university’s Learn by Doing mission.   The master plan update process will include extensive engagement of the campus and San Luis Obispo communities and numerous opportunities for public input and involvement. In addition to scheduling several events to encourage public involvement, the university has established community and campus advisory committees. The six committees include a cross section of campus and community representatives and will provide thoughts, ideas and input related to policy direction.The public is invited to attend two initial public workshops to discuss and learn more about the master plan process on Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kennedy Library atrium on campus and on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ludwick Community Assembly Room, 864 Santa Rosa St., in San Luis Obispo.  More on the Master Plan

Cal Poly Shares $1 Million Grant to Fund Citizen Science Astronomy Research

Cal Poly and the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., have received a $1 million collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation to continue a citizen-scientist astronomy project in rural communities in the Western U.S. stretching from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. More than 40 towns along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges and down the Colorado River will receive telescopes and training through the grant. The towns in this second phase of the project will join 13 pilot communities to form the Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network (RECON). Scientists John Keller, a Cal Poly physics professor, and planetary scientist Marc Buie will lead the network of teachers, students and amateur astronomers in measuring the sizes of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) — large, frozen bodies that orbit the sun in the outer region of the solar system. “This project is an innovative and exciting opportunity for students and community members from across the Western U.S. to directly contribute to our understanding of the Kuiper Belt,” said Keller. More on the grant

Landscape Architecture Students Get National Award for Orphanage Project

A team of Cal Poly landscape architecture students has received a national award of excellence for a playground they designed and built at a South African orphanage. The 5,000-square-foot project was honored in the community service category of the 2014 American Society of Landscape Architects Student Awards competition. It was one of only three awards of excellence given out in the annual competition that attracted more than 500 entries from 77 universities across the nation. The awards will be presented at ASLA’s annual meeting in Denver on Nov. 24. “In a year where the jury loved everything that was awarded in this category, this undergraduate team’s project stood out,” says an article in this month’s edition of Landscape Architecture Magazine. “The play space, designed and built for the 350 children in the Ratang Bana orphanage in Alexandria Township, South Africa, is also an open space resource for the whole community.” The team included students Michael Aguas, Alex Clark, Andrew Elias, Alex Henige, Ryan Higginbotham, Alix Kidwell, Joanne Mark, Amanda McCaulley, Erica Monson, Rachel SantaOlalla, Nick Tuttle, Tony Webster, Ryan Higginbotham and Julianna Wild. Professor David J. Watts, interim chair of the Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture Department, organized the project and traveled to South Africa with the students.
More on the award