Ryan Chartrand

Twenty years after this spoof ad ran in a humor edition of the paper, sightings of President Warren Baker are still rare for most students. The Mustang Daily recently caught up with the president of 28 years to ask him some of those tough questions:

Mustang Daily: When students say that they don’t know their university president, how do you address that?

President Baker: I try as often as I can. It is difficult to be as visible as people want you to be when so much of what I do takes me away from the campus and when I get back I generally have a calendar that’s filled. That’s one of the things I enjoy most is to get out and meet people on an informal basis on the campus – I try to do it as often as I can, but time is probably the most difficult barrier to that. I used to have open office hours, but no one came. (laughs) So we stopped doing it. I don’t know why. It would be in the Mustang Daily that, from 1 to 3 on a particular day of the week, I would be here. Anyone who wanted to walk in and stop by could do it but maybe it’s just coming up to the fourth floor.

MD: You’ve been president here for over 25 years, what has changed the most about the university?

PB: This is actually the 28th year. Well, I think that the programs have certainly improved and we’ve been able to attract a very good faculty – and particularly in the last few years we’ve been able to hire significantly more faculty each year than we had on the average in the past. So the faculty is changing and I think that we’re fortunate to attract very high-quality people who become attuned very fast to the Cal Poly philosophy and education. And a lot of things are done somewhat differently than other universities – not to mention choosing a major before you come to the university. There are not many universities that do that.

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