Corporation Quarterly Update

Fall Quarter, 2019

New Board Members

Vice Chair Nick Pettit led the first board meeting of the year on Oct. 25, opening with introductions of our newest board members, Dr. Sean Hurley, an agri-business professor appointed to a three-year term, Celeste Esparza, a third-year civil engineering student, and Cole Dorris, a fourth-year biochemistry student. I look forward to what our new members will bring to deliberations and discussions 

National Qualifying Event Coming to Campus

Cal Poly is hosting roughly 50 athletes and serving as the local organizing committee for a USA Pentathlon national qualifying event on Jan. 18 and 19. The top four men and four women will be named to Team USA

The modern pentathlon puts competitors through five distinct events in one day – including fencing, swimming, equestrian ride and a laser run, which combines shooting a laser pistol with cross country running.

The corporation event planning staff have taken the lead in helping Cal Poly bring this event to campus. 

Volunteers are being sought to help fill a range of jobs and tasks – including serving as judges or referees, or handing out water to athletes. Sign up to volunteer here.

Property Management of the Tech Park

The corporation will now be handling the property management of the Technology Park. The agreement has been executed, with an effective date of December 2019. Property management services are already being provided for Bella Montana and other corporation-owned buildings.

Facilities and Administrative Rate Proposal

The Sponsored Programs Office has engaged Huron Consulting to assist with development of the campus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate proposal. The proposal and negotiation will determine the rate that Cal Poly can apply to externally-funded grants and contracts to support indirect costs. F&A is part of the budgeted project costs funded by sponsoring organizations to support the campus infrastructure necessary to conduct externally-funded work. Huron has been engaged to assist with the short form submission and additionally to assess campus readiness for submission of a Long Form F&A rate proposal in the future.

Conference and Event Planning

Conference and Event Planning has been working with a consultant to assess operations and optimize use of campus facilities. A report and action plan will be completed this fall/winter and will be reviewed with campus constituents. 

Construction Updates

The Vista Grande Dining Complex is scheduled for completion spring 2020. At that time, building 19 will be decommissioned and will undergo a complete renovation. The University Store will also be renovated in partnership with Follett and as part of the larger University Union Neighborhood project, a collaboration between corporation and ASI. The goal is to create a more vibrant campus experience with increased community spaces and welcoming gathering places. ASI began renovation work on the second floor of the UU this fall. Other enhancements include the Starbucks renovation, already completed, and improvements to the alley and the Mustang Station patio, now underway.

University Diversity Updates

Board member and vice president of Student Affairs, Keith Humphrey gave an update on the CPX diversity and inclusion survey results and what the next steps are for the university. The CPX campus dialogue in November helped to provide a deeper dive into the CPX data and identify ways to advance diversity, inclusion and equity on campus with additional learning opportunities, training and tools to create action plans for long-term change.

New Point of Sale System

The board approved the purchase of a new point of sale system for Campus Dining as part of this year’s budget. Corporation staff from IT, Campus Dining and the business office, working with campus ITS, successfully implemented a new POS system for all dining locations as well as Cal Poly Print and Copy. There were a number of complexities to the project launch, substantially compressing the implementation timeline in order to be ready for fall quarter. This group is to be congratulated for the dedication and focus it took to bring the new system on-line.

An Increase in Digital Course Materials

The University Store’s immediate access program launched this academic year and allows student access to course material in digital format at a significantly lower cost.

Pouring Rights Contract

Last year the board approved moving forward with a Request for Proposal and negotiation and execution of a new pouring rights contract. The corporation partnered with the university’s Strategic Business Services office and two other CSU campuses to leverage our collective power on a master pouring rights contract. Negotiations are in the final stages and will provide substantially better benefits to the campus than the previous contract. 

Student Housing

The board previously approved contracting with Brailsford and Dunlavey to provide development advisory services for the next phase of student housing at Cal Poly. The working group for this project includes staff from Administration and Finance, University Housing, ASI, Cal Poly Corporation and others. Progress has been good. With the consultant’s help, a report and proposal package was presented to the CSU’s Land Development Review Committee. Feedback has since been received and is being reviewed. 

Investment and Financial Reports

Joe Alves presented the annual and quarterly Investment Reports. All funds had positive returns.

Dan Banfield presented the annual and quarterly financial reports. Overall operating income at June 30 was above budget, largely due to high investment returns, and all reserves are fully funded. Quarterly performance is trending close to budget.

A Clean Audit Report

The corporation audit committee accepted the annual financial statements at their September meeting. The audit report had no written or verbal findings for the fifth year in a row.

“That’s incredible,” Director Phil Barlow said. “That is unheard of.”

Thank you to the corporation business and finance team for leading this effort, and for the outstanding results.

Management Update

There have been a number of significant moves and changes over the last quarter. Amongst the new hires, promotions and transitions to new roles, lives the corporation’s dedication to advancing Cal Poly’s mission and driving student success.  

  • Kyle Blauer was promoted to field research manager with the Strawberry Center
  • Kaitlin Gibbons transitioned from her registered dietitian and sustainability coordinator role to general manager for Vista Grande
  • Kristine Lemon joined Campus Dining as the assistant director of finance
  • Kelsey McCourt recently started as Campus Dining’s registered dietitian and sustainability coordinator
  • Cynthia Stocker was promoted to operations manager of catering and concessions
  • John Thomson started his role as manager of facilities operations and capital projects

Board Action

During the Business portion of the meeting, the board took the following actions:

  • Approved the corporation’s employer contribution rate for the CalPERS employee medical insurance program to be effective Jan. 1, 2020.
  • Approval of the Publicly Available Pay Schedule for CalPERS.
  • Approved an increase in facilities capital outlay expenditures of $146,000 for the Mustang Station patio project.

The meeting adjourned at 11:08, after which the board was treated to an impressive sampling and tasting of Vista Grande menu items prepared by Campus Dining’s culinary team.

The next corporation board meeting will be held on Friday, Jan. 30, 2020.