The first of many new faculty lists has arrived, telling us who will be coming to Cal Poly this fall (or who has joined us since last September). On this year’s list: more than 30 new tenure track faculty, joining us from Boston College, Yale, UCLA, UC Davis, ASU, UNC, Princeton, Caltech, Northwestern, Universities of Michigan, Calgary, Minnesota, and Queensland – just for starters. Joined by dozens of new lecturers, the list keeps growing all the way up until the night of our annual new faculty reception. One of our happiest traditions at Kennedy Library is to roll out one of the best parties at Cal Poly – the New Faculty Reception. Shelly Lucas is the heart and soul of this event that helps build countless new partnerships and friendships; past receptions have also sparked long-term library-faculty collaborations, from student research in the library, to faculty art installations. It’s fun for non-faculty too: a chance for campus leadership to meet a highly accomplished group of new scholars and teachers. This year the reception will happen on Friday October 7 (two weeks later than usual), to take pressure off the heavy Fall Conference Week schedule; and we will begin a new tradition, by introducing our 2016 Learn by Doing Scholar faculty awardees (and the outstanding faculty committee that selected them).
It’s going to be a big year for information literacy: 2016-17 will be the first year in the three-year cycle of activities led by Academic Programs and Planning, to study, assess, and increase the impact we have on student information literacy. This is one of the core university-wide commitments we study as part of the regional accreditation process (aka WASC) – others include quantitative reasoning, written and oral communication, and critical thinking. The timing is great: our librarians and specialists have been working hard towards articulating not only what “information literacy” means our uniquely polytechnic learning environment, but what students will be able to accomplish as a result of the experiences we offer them to learn and apply the concepts, skills, and practices that will empower them through their whole career. We are looking forward to being part of a university-wide conversation, enriched by national thought-leaders, that will help ensure our students have the best learning experiences anywhere.
Two weeks ago at the SCUP conference in Vancouver, I ran into a colleague who used to work here at Cal Poly, and is currently at CSULA. She told me about an amazing program they have going there with hydrogen fuel cell technology. It was the perfect example of going around the world (well, pretty far north anyway) to find out what’s happening in our own backyard. One of the industries most interested in this magic-sounding energy source is the big data industry, with their growing need for energy to power all those servers in the ‘cloud’. Related to this: Conny was telling me about sustainable web design practices and how we are already beginning to fine tune our website code to be less demanding on the cloud, drawing ‘just in time’ data rather than ‘just in case’ data to power mobile web designs.
Have a wonderful weekend,