Happy Friday!

It’s been great seeing so many of you at our candidate presentations this week and I hope you can join next week’s presentations (Monday for for our third AD candidate and Weds-Friday for three of our four our engineering librarian finalists) as we close out the academic year.

ExTeam has begun wrestling our strategic planning work into a complete draft.  If you are trolling the wiki you may be seeing some of that work in progress.  Our draft is taking shape there in the form of brief statements of mission, vision and values, with the body of the plan based around ten strategic outcomes that we are committed to achieving over the next 5-7 years.  After ExTeam’s meeting next week we will send out the link to the draft.  The draft will guide our development of annual goals beginning early this summer, but we’ll take the summer to revise and refine the plan, before sharing with the campus and other stakeholders in the fall.

At this point in the spring, even as finals week approaches, there’s a growing sense of celebration across campus. Congratulations to our graduating student assistants, and to graduating members of SLAC.  You have made our lives and the lives of so many of your fellow students richer. We hope you will visit and keep in touch.  This week we also celebrate the hard-won achievement of tenure and promotion by Cal Poly faculty, announced officially this week.  On the honor roll of newly promoted and tenured faculty:  Brett Bodemer.  Congratulations Brett!

For historians to keep teaching this subliminal message—that we’re divided by tribes—is not a good thing.”  It was this insight that led David Christian to begin teaching what he calls “Big History” – a modern origins story that teaches the history of humans without focusing on our ‘tribes’.    Students loved this course because it was asking the questions that drive them:  “What is your place in the cosmos? What is the cosmos of which you are a part? Are you a large part of it? Are you central? Are you marginal? Is there anything distinctive about humans?”  “Tribal” thinking is deeply embedded in education and research, Christian says, and he challenges us to move beyond it:  “collective learning may be what makes us different.”

Have a great weekend,

Anna

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