By Julian Mitchell
President Soraya M. Coley gave her annual address to Cal Poly Pomona faculty and staff, focusing in on the upcoming semester conversion, construction going on around campus and the new branding of CPP, which includes a new logo and motto.
The 2017 Fall Conference took place on Sept. 18, hosting a crowd of over 700, according to the University News Center’s press release.
Coley presented a plan for the future of the university in conjunction with her discussion on semester conversion.
“We’re crystallizing a strategic plan around a shared vision for our future,” said Coley.
Coley quickly worked to address the on-going issue of construction but also went on to give a large portion of time focusing on further changes in the university’s transition to semesters. She also made special focus on the importance of faculty and staff, especially during times of great strife in this nation.
To begin her discussion on semester conversion, Coley stated a blunt fact: this is the last fall quarter at CPP.
Coley continued, stating that the transition will definitely be met with a few “oops”, but hopefully no “oh my gosh-s.”
Perhaps most importantly, Coley stated that the administration is making great efforts to ensure student success throughout the change.
“We have pledged that each student, who meets with an advisor and creates an individual academic plan, should suffer no loss in academic credit or progress to degree,” said Coley.
Along with the big change to semesters, she announced other large-scale changes as well. The university will be sporting a new logo next year, as well as a new vision statement and motto.
Although Coley did not state specifics, she did say that much of the new direction of CPP comes from open forums and survey responses conducted by the administration.
Coley also wanted to point out the possibly overlooked aspects of semester conversion, such as the shortened summer quarter in 2018 and the new academic school year dates.
Summer quarter 2018 will only consist of one five-week session to accommodate the Aug. 23 start date of the fall semester.
Despite the brief burst of applause from the crowd over the shortened summer quarter, Coley said that they will try to include as many classes as possible during that quarter to help students get the credits they need.
Coley also addressed the seemingly endless issue of construction on campus.
“This academic year is going to require patience.
P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E,” said Coley.
However, she stated that the university can see the “light at the end of the construction tunnel.”
Construction is already complete on Kellogg Drive and the new Classroom Laboratory and Administration Building will be open by the beginning of the 2019 fall semester.
Coley also announced that in 2019 the new freshmen oriented living community will begin accepting residents.
She added that students who live on campus tend to perform better in school and hopes to entice students to live on campus with a brand new marketplace dining commons.
More students living on campus would hopefully help increase school spirit, while also reducing CPP’s carbon footprint.
Coley also addressed issues such as the new Campus South, in addition to First Amendment concerns.
Campus South is an early stage project that CPP has undergone to expand the campus.
The site is three and a half miles from CPP on what was formerly known as the Lanterman Developmental Center.
The 300-acre site will be undergoing development in the foreseeable future.
“The decisions we make will be felt for generations,” said Coley.
In her address, she also took time to talk about the unfortunate rise of hate speech around the country.
“Fundamental to our American way of life as a democracy is a special and cherished right of freedom of speech,” stated Coley.
Coley recognized the rights of all to practice freedom of speech, however she made special emphasis that “hate speech will not be reflected in the work of this university.”
To close her address, she explained that the changes on campus will not be easy, but she believes these moves are necessary and are good for CPP.
“As I stated at the beginning of this discussion, we have a very ambitious agenda this year,” said Coley. “I’m asking a lot from each of you because, the reality is, I can’t do any of this on my own. Without all of you, there is no forward movement.”
Courtesy of Tom Zasadzinksi
President Coley shares updates on campus projects, Semester Conversion and plans for the university at the Fall Conference
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