Happy Friday!

Our May events just keep coming: I hope you get to stop by our inaugural Open Science Cafe, at 11 am!  And the excitement is building for a blockbuster spring exhibit, Objects of Affection, opening next week.

1.  Working on:  I’ve been sharing the architects’ plans for Kennedy Library with campus leadership, including the President’s Leadership Council as well as LITAC during their spring meeting here last week.  An emerging idea from LITAC:  Kennedy Library IS our Academic Commons.  What is that line “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for“?  Yes, we still need more capacity, more room for all the academic partners and students who flock here.  But the concept has taken root and it’s a powerful way of explaining what we’ve become in a few words:  “Robert E. Kennedy Library & Academic Commons.” What do you think?

2.  Excited about: Faculty research – shared at last week’s phenomenally successful faculty research showcase, and at this week’s Distinguished Scholars Award recipients’ talks, which were well-attended and fascinating.  The quality of the Q&A was almost as impressive as the talks themselves.  One of the talks got me….

3.  Thinking about:  ….the distinctive opportunities and constraints of doing research at an institution like Cal Poly.  For example, an amazing bioengineering partnership between Cal Poly and UCSD has fallen away for lack of research funding to support cross-institutional programs. There’s a long article I’ve been reading, by Nicholas Lemann (journalism, Columbia), “The Soul of the Research University.” He points out that many faculty continue to feel more affiliated to their discipline, than to their employing institution.  He argues that institutions have opportunities to increase cross-disciplinary research within their borders, and that this would lead to “a richer, more interconnected curriculum” as well as research breakthroughs.

Have a great weekend.