Cal Poly/ Courtesy Photo

Cal Poly College of Science and Mathematics Dean Phil Bailey received the 2017 Giving Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education, according to a university press release.

The award honors university and college administrators who excel beyond their daily leadership duties and give back to their communities and campuses. Bailey will be featured in the April 2017 Leadership Support and Giving Back magazine edition along with 38 other recipients of the award, according to the press release.

“These issues of diversity and inclusivity have always been an interest of mine,” Bailey said. “My wife and I have actually benefitted more from our interactions with undocumented students, refugees and first-generation students than they have just from what they brought to our lives.”

Recipients of the award were nominated by their colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on exceptional demonstration of social responsibility. This includes involvement with students, faculty, staff and community as well as commitment to serving underrepresented populations. Each honoree is recognized for their dedication, passion and support for diversity and inclusivity, according to the press release.

“Phil Bailey sets the example for all of us for what it means to truly care about all students,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in the press release. “He is dedicated to student success, especially for underrepresented, undocumented and first generation students.”

Bailey, who is retiring from his full-time position at the end of the school year, worked at Cal Poly for 48 years, 34 of which were as college dean. Bailey was awarded for his lengthy history of taking personal interest in students who face tremendous challenges during college. He made a wide range of contributions to Cal Poly, from focusing on diversity when hiring faculty and staff to establishing a university-wide program teaching students the importance of adequate studying, according to the press release.

Bailey joined Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics faculty in 1969 as an assistant professor of chemistry. In 1973, he became associate dean and 10 years later was named dean. He served two terms as interim vice president for academic affairs in 1989-90 and again in Summer 2015, according to the press release.

Bailey and his wife, Tina, have welcomed more than 20 students in financial need to live with them over the years, providing support and a place to live. Bailey often shares his cell phone number with students, encouraging them to text or call if they are in need. He was also instrumental in establishing the university’s Cal Poly Cares program for food-insecure students, according to the press release.

“It’s always an honor to get an award, but the experiences and the relationships that I’ve had are what’s really special,” Bailey said.

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