Cal Poly Report — Sept. 16, 2020 


Cal Poly Earns 28th Consecutive Best in the West Ranking from U.S. News

For the 28th straight year, Cal Poly has been named the best public, master’s-level university in the West by U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook. The 2021 guide, released Sept. 14, provides data on more than 1,800 colleges and universities and rankings for more than 1,400 institutions. It lists Cal Poly in third overall in the West — up one from last year and an improvement of nine spots from 2019’s rankings. In addition, several College of Engineering programs were ranked as the best in the nation among public educational institutions, and Cal Poly was ranked as the top western school for veterans among public and private institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees. The Western regional list includes public and private institutions in 15 states that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but few doctoral programs.” “For more than a generation, we have taken pride in being recognized as one of the best universities in the nation,” President Armstrong said. “Our goal is to produce the next generation of industry innovators and future leaders who, through Learn by Doing, graduate ready to contribute in their careers from Day One. These rankings also positively reflect on our talented and dedicated faculty and staff who devote themselves to helping students thrive and succeed in life.” Read more here.

Cal Poly Unveils Updated COVID-19 Dashboard 

COVID-19 Updates and InformationCal Poly is now providing more information about the number of tests conducted on campus, the number of positive cases and the number of students in isolation or quarantine. View an updated dashboard at The numbers on the dashboard reflect only testing done directly through Campus Health and Wellbeing, which provides COVID-19 testing only to currently enrolled students. Students can also get tested off campus. The university does not offer testing to employees. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 are reflected in countywide and community-specific statistics (for their community of residence), available at the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department webpage: Continue to visit the university’s coronavirus website for current health information. Visit the Roadmap website for continued fall quarter updates regarding campus operations and virtual resources.

Screenshots showing the green happy face or red x if students do or do not pass the daily screeningHelp Enforce COVID-19 Daily Screening Requirement for Students

The university is asking all faculty and staff for their help in enforcing the COVID-19 daily self-screening requirement for students. All students who wish to access campus for any reason are required to participate in this process. Students must successfully complete their screening by noon or before traveling to campus, whichever comes first in order to obtain a campus pass. Each pass will contain a unique QR code and date stamp, good for that day only. Ask students to show their pass before entering a campus facility such as a classroom, building or office. Any student found falsifying information may be subject to conduct sanctions. For more information on COVID-19 screening visit

A&F Takes Numerous Steps to Prepare Campus for Fall 

Photo of an employee with a face covering and gloves cleaning a desk inside a classroom.An incredible amount of effort, time and planning has gone into ensuring a smoother transition to the new campus environment for students, faculty and staff. Since the campus went virtual in spring, Administration and Finance has purchased:
— More than 50,000 face coverings that will be given to all campus community members, including those that have already been distributed and others that will be made available as needed.
— Over 100 digital thermometers to be used for health screenings.
— 35,280 bottles of hand sanitizer.
— More than 800 Merv-13 filters, which are highly rated for filtering out high percentages of particles, including smaller particles.  
A&F employees have also:
— Installed more than 4,000 signs and floor graphics in more than 50 buildings.
— Removed from service dozens of sinks, urinals and other fixtures in building restrooms to provide physical distancing and still maintain minimum-need requirements.
— Installed more than 250 plexiglass barriers.
— Reconfigured 140 classrooms and labs.
— Conducted more than 600 HVAC assessments in over 120 buildings and installed the Merv-13 air filters.
— Collaborated with the CSU to launch a COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online Course.
To see a short video featuring work the campus has done to prepare, visit

Student Success

Research Project Could Help Warn Beachgoers of Sharks in the Water Using Drones and Artificial Intelligence

Members of the Shark Spotting with Drones team worked virtually over the summer, applying knowledge of artificial intelligence and machine learning to data collected by drones.A research project that combines drone surveillance and artificial intelligence could one day help lifeguards warn beachgoers about sharks in the water. Shark Spotting with Drones, conducted with CSU Long Beach’s Shark Lab, was among this year’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program projects. The SURP program, in Cal Poly’s College of Engineering, pairs undergraduate students with faculty mentors and industry to conduct meaningful, real-world research. The research aims to alert lifeguards and protect sharks by enhancing AI methods to identify sharks and other objects from aerial video. For this project, students helped the Shark Lab develop machine learning algorithms, called neural networks, to identify water users — such as surfers, swimmers and bodyboarders — from drone footage. Cal Poly’s interdisciplinary team of students had backgrounds in computer science and related fields, and an interest or background in marine biology. Members of the Shark Spotting with Drones team (pictured) worked virtually over the summer. Read more here.

Cal Poly CIE to Host Virtual Demo Day Entrepreneur Event on Sept. 18

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host its annual Demo Day that will showcase eight startups in a virtual event Friday, Sept.18. Company representatives, who ordinarily would pitch their respective startups in front of a live audience, will shift their presentations to a YouTube live stream. The event culminates the CIE’s 2020 HotHouse Summer Accelerator program — an intense, three-month program that helps students and recent graduates who have developed new products and ventures. Representatives of the eight participating companies will give demonstrations and pitches to answer questions about their entrepreneurial efforts. This year’s accelerator cohort includes a variety of industries and discipline. Learn more about them here.

Photo of a student wearing a face mask and cow beanie with sign reading Honk if you love ice cream

Drive-Thru Ice Cream Held Each Friday to Support Students

Cool off and support students at the Cal Poly Creamery. A drive-thru ice cream sale will be held  each Friday from noon to 4 p.m. The cost is $6 per pint (cash, cards and checks are accepted) and the flavors are vanilla, chocolate chip, mint chip and mud pie. The creamery is located in the Dairy Science Complex off Mount Bishop Road (No. 18A).


Back to Shortcuts

Faculty & Staff

Virtual Benefit Fair and Open Enrollment to be Held Sept. 21-Oct. 16

Illustration with buttons reading ready set enrollChat with providers and the campus Human Resources Benefit Team during a virtual, live Benefit Resource Fair from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Registration is required to attend this event. Open Enrollment is Sept. 21-Oct. 16. This is employees' annual opportunity to review and update their current benefits for the upcoming year. Enroll, change or cancel CalPERS health, dental, vision, FlexCash, Dependent Care Reimbursement (DCRA), Health Care Reimbursement (HCRA) or voluntary benefits plans. The effective date for all changes made during the Open Enrollment period is Jan. 1, 2021. View the Benefits Open Enrollment webpage for 2021 rates, plan information and more.

Disability Tapas' Presentations to be Held in Fall Quarter

Disabilities come in many different forms and can vary greatly. Join the Disability Resource Center (DRC) for some snack-size information and interactive discussions on a variety of disability-related topics. Presentations are geared toward faculty and staff (students are welcome), and offered from 11:10 a.m. to noon every Thursday via Zoom at Past presentations are viewable at
— Sept. 17: Supporting Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students during COVID.
— Sept. 24: Introduction to Disability Resource Center (DRC) Services.
— Oct. 1: How to be a Disability Ally — Strategies for Identifying and Addressing Ableism.
— Oct. 8: Understanding Chronic Invisible Illness.
— Oct. 15: Social Media: Guidance for Posting Accessible Content and Positive Disability Messages.
— Oct. 22: Disability and Domestic Violence: Barriers to Disclosure and Strategies for Community Care.
— Oct. 29: Supporting Students with ADHD.
— Nov. 5: Supporting Students with Traumatic Brain Injury.
— Nov. 12: Accessibility Made Easy: Tech Tools and Tips to Try.
— Nov. 19: Supporting students with Autism.
The presentations are provided by the Disability Resource Center. Questions? Contact or ext. 6-1395.

New Virtual Book and Learning Circles for Fall

Whistling Vivaldi book coverEmployee and Organization Development has announced the fall 2020 Book and Learning Circles, which will all be held on Zoom.
— Book Circles involve reading a book over the course of three to five sessions and discussing in a group. The first book, "Whistling Vivaldi" by Claude M. Steele,  paints a compelling picture of how simply being aware of negative stereotypes toward our social group diminishes our ability to perform. The second book is "Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior," by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and A. Switzler. Discover tools for improving relationships in the workplace and in life and for resolving all broken promises, missed deadlines, and poor behavior — permanently. The third book, "The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life" by Shawn Achor, reveals how rewiring our brain for happiness helps us achieve more in our careers and relationships and as students, leaders and parents.
— Learning Circles involve watching a video or reading an article and participating in a discussion during a single session. The first learning circle is "Mindful Leadership," featuring talks from Janice Marurano, Mark Bertoli and Jessica Amos. The second learning circle is offered as a series of three sessions and provides an eye-opening discussion tool to help people examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy and justice in "Race — The Power of an Illusion." In the third learning circle, "How Language Shapes the Way We Think," Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language and suggests that the various languages around the world shape the way we think. 
To view a full description and register to attend, visit the Book and Learning Circles webpage at

Faculty Advisor Training Series Available in Fall 2020

University Advising is pleased to offer a Faculty Advisor Training series that introduces undergraduate faculty advisors to academic advising core competencies.
— FA 101: Nuts and Bolts of Faculty Advising: Oct. 9 (virtual via Zoom).
— FA 102: Assemble Your Faculty Advising Toolkit: will be offered in winter 2021.
— FA 103: Building Student Success through Faculty Advising: will be offered in winter 2021.
Click here for more information about the Faculty Advisor Training series. Anyone with questions can contact Christina Wolfe-Chandler, advisor training coordinator, at or ext. 6-5735.

Career Education Canvas Modules Available to Embed in Courses

Career Services now offers career curriculum available in Canvas modules for faculty to embed in their courses. The modules were developed by the team of professional career counselors, in consultation with the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Career Services Advisory Council, faculty and students. Career Services offers the following modules: 
— Networking.
— Interviewing.
— Discovering Career Possibilities.
— Navigating Your Job/Internship Search.
— Resume and Cover Letter.
Each module is designed to be delivered asynchronously and includes several components such as readings, videos and activities, which can be customized to meet the instructor’s needs. Career Services encourages faculty to complement the material in its modules by having a career counselor visit the class synchronously as well. To gain access to our curriculum modules or learn more about them, interested faculty can contact a Freshman Focus Team career counselor (for first-year classes) or their respective College Specialist Career Counselor (for all other classes).

Back to Shortcuts

Campus Announcements

Kennedy Library Offers Contactless Pickup and Checkout

Kennedy Library at dusk. Photo by University Photographer Joe Johnston.The Kennedy Library and CSU+ are now loaning books and other physical materials (excluding Course Reserves) on a limited basis with contactless pickup on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. -1p.m. To checkout items:
— Request books on OneSearch using your Cal Poly account:
— Receive an email that your items are ready to be picked up. 
— Bring your Cal Poly ID/Library Card to the Kennedy Library front entrance on the days/hours listed above. 
— Call Library Circulation at ext. 6-5760 to notify staff of your arrival and to provide your library card information. 
— Staff will place your items outside the door. 
— Please remember to wear a face covering and to practice physical distancing when coming to campus.
Books and other physical materials checked out to you will be renewed automatically. There will be no late fees or fines for any overdue items at this time. Books and other physical materials (including CSU+ and Interlibrary Loan) may be returned to the book drops located in front of the library or in parking lot H10.

Cal Poly to Host Space and Cybersecurity Symposium Oct. 5-8

Illustration of space with text reading Space & Cybersecurity Symposium October 5-8, 2020National and commercial investment in the space economy is growing at an unprecedented rate, and as the world's space-based infrastructure expands, so too do cybersecurity risks. Defending America's space assets from cyberattacks is now a national priority. Are we prepared? How can public and private sector agencies incorporate cybersecurity into their supply chains as they build the next generation of spacecraft? Will we have the workforce needed to defend our nation and commercial interests tomorrow? From Oct. 5-8, Cal Poly will host a series of solutions-focused conversations on the intersection of space and cybersecurity. The webinars feature keynote interviews and panel sessions with leaders from the Department of Defense, U.S. Space Force, industry and higher education. Space and Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 will bring together academia, government and commercial agencies to discuss the latest strategies needed to secure private and public space resources and supply chains from state and non-state cyber adversaries. The event will also share approaches for building the 21st-century workforce resources required to meet these goals. For more information, go to


Event Calendar

To find out what’s going on at Cal Poly, visit the Events Calendar. The site includes community events that are open to the public and Campus Life events open to students, faculty and staff. The calendar also includes events at the Performing Arts Center. A link from the calendar allows staff, faculty and students to check facility availability before requesting and reserving on-campus locations for activities and events. For more information about publishing an event on the calendar, contact

Back to Shortcuts


For an overview of up-to-date sports information, photos and videos, visit Students always get in free. Faculty and staff discounts are available.

Upcoming Events @ Home

Per guidance from the Big West and Big Sky conferences, all of Cal Poly's fall sports events have been postponed until 2021. Check for updated information on fall sports.

Back to Shortcuts

Job Vacancies

Employment Opportunities

For all available job openings, visit All new positions opened this week are listed below. To apply, go online and complete the application form. Current employees can also find job postings at CSU Careers, an internal job site for CSU employees. For assistance, call Human Resources at ext. 6-2236. 

#497590 — Emergency Hire Campus Advocate Safer Program (Student Services Professional II), Student Affairs — Campus Health and Wellbeing. $24.83-$35.31 per hour. Anticipated hiring salary: $24.83 per hour. Open until closed. 

#496364 — Director for Student Diversity and Belonging (Administrator II), Student Affairs — Diversity and Inclusion. Salary commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected. Open until closed.

To find internally posted positions, start from the Cal Poly Portal. Click “Cal Poly Jobs” on the left-hand menu. On the next page click “Apply.” All internally and externally posted positions appear there. For a full list of available jobs, go to

Faculty Employment Opportunities

Visit for all available job openings. The part-time lecturer pools are now open. Visit for current openings, further information and how to apply. For assistance, call Academic Personnel at ext. 6-2844. 

There are no new listings at this time.

Corporation Employment Opportunities

Cal Poly Corporation is a separate entity operating in concert with the university to provide a diverse range of services and resources to students, faculty and staff. To view all available job postings or apply, visit the Corporation website. For assistance, contact Human Resources at ext. 6-1121.

There are no new listings at this time.

ASI Employment Opportunities

Candidates are asked to visit the ASI website to complete an ASI application and apply for open positions. For more information, visit the ASI Business Office in UU 212 or call ext. 6-5800.

There are no new listings at this time.

Back to Shortcuts

Submission Guidelines for Cal Poly Report

Cal Poly Report (CPR) is Cal Poly's official employee newsletter, designed to communicate information about officially sanctioned university news or events to faculty, staff and administrators. Submissions may run a maximum of three times and should be limited to 150 words. To help ensure CPR continues to contain only relevant and approved information, submissions are required to come from or be approved by the employee designated to approve submissions in the respective colleges, units and work areas. A list of designated approvers is available on the Cal Poly Report index website. Entries submitted by those other than the designated approver must be accompanied by an approval form signed by the unit's approver. The approval form is available online in fillable pdf format or a downloadable Microsoft Word format. CPR is published weekly during the school year, except during academic breaks, and monthly in the summer. The deadline for each issue is 12:30 p.m. the Friday prior to publication.

Back to Shortcuts

Related Content