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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo names new president

December 15, 2010 |  4:29 pm

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, an educator at Michigan State University, has been named president of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, officials announced Wednesday.

Armstrong, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and professor of animal science at Michigan State, will assume his new post Feb. 1. He succeeds interim President Robert Glidden, who joined the campus in August after the retirement of Warren J. Baker, who had been president since 1979.

Armstrong was one of three finalists for the position at the institution  on California's Central coast. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system.

“Dr. Armstrong’s outstanding academic credentials, leadership abilities and strong grounding in agriculture and science will be tremendous assets to the university and community as it moves forward,” Roberta Achtenberg, chairwoman of the Cal State Board of Trustees' presidential search committee, said in a statement.

Armstrong has been in his current position at Michigan State since 2001 and previously served as head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University and in various positions at North Carolina State University. His recent research has focused on social responsibility in the food chain, and he has been an advisor to McDonalds Corp. on the issue of animal welfare.

“Cal Poly has an excellent reputation for preparing the knowledge leaders that help drive California’s economy,” Armstrong, 51, said in a statement. “I am honored to join such an outstanding university and excited about engaging students, faculty and alumni to build on its strong foundation and create opportunities for the future.”

Armstrong’s salary and benefits are still being negotiated and will be approved at the January board meeting of the Cal State trustees, officials said.

-- Carla Rivera