This letter reflects the opinions of Phil Bailey, former College of Science and Mathematics dean and current director of a College of Science and Mathematics undergraduate research program. Bailey retired from his dean position at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
Dear Mustang News:
I want to comment on the op-ed by Mustang News editor-in-chief Naba Ahmed expressing that Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong has failed and the chants during the protest march at Cal Poly’s Open House that President Armstrong should resign.
But first, I feel the need to qualify myself. This is my 49th year at Cal Poly. I retired as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics after 34 years in that role this past June. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fierce advocate for all students, particularly those who are underrepresented and marginalized and have been throughout my Cal Poly career and before. My support has been substantial in actions and with personal resources.
As such, I feel I am in a position to have witnessed that Armstrong has always fought hard on many levels for Cal Poly students, especially those who are underrepresented and marginalized. He is a strong supporter of efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion. And Armstrong has, many times, personally communicated with, supported and counseled students in times of hurt and distress.
He is a true friend of all students, he is incredibly accessible and he does not deserve the criticism hurled at him. Cal Poly has made significant progress in addressing the needs of students during his presidency; of course, there is much more to be done. As another incident of intolerance occurs, anger and frustration are unavoidable. I share these emotions with the students who protested during Open House. But I was saddened that the anger and frustration have been directed to a true and tireless advocate of Cal Poly students.
Phil Bailey, Dean Emeritus
College of Science and Mathematics.
*This letter has been edited for clarity.