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President and Leadership

Jeffrey D. Armstrong

University President

Jeffrey D. Armstrong began his tenure as Cal Poly's ninth permanent president on February 1, 2011. Before joining Cal Poly, he served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University, beginning in 2001. Armstrong was head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University from 1997 to 2001 and served in various positions at North Carolina State University from 1986 through 1997. Armstrong attended Murray State University in Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1981. He earned both a master's (1984) and doctorate (1986) in physiology and endocrinology from North Carolina State University.

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Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore is responsible for the formulation of academic policies and priorities and oversees the Academic Affairs division, which includes the university’s six colleges, along with the international and extended education programs, the Kennedy Library and academic programs and planning. In addition, she shares oversight of research and economic development, graduate education, financial aid, the registrar, admissions and enrollment. Jackson-Elmoore previously served as dean of the Honors College at Michigan State University and a professor with affiliations in the School of Social Work and the Global Urban Studies Program. She also co-chaired a university level Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee and was a presidential appointee to MSU's Strategic Planning Committee. She earned doctorate and master's degrees in public administration, with a public policy emphasis, from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.

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Cynthia Vizcaino Villa

Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Office (CFO)

Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa oversees a broad portfolio that includes budget and fiscal management, facilities management, construction and planning, procurement, risk management, human resources administration, public safety and oversight of auxiliary operations. Prior to joining Cal Poly, Villa served as the Vice President for Business Affairs at The University of Texas at El Paso. She previously served the University of Texas as both associate and assistant vice president for finance and administration, comptroller, director of financial services and assistant director of budget and payroll. Villa earned a master’s of education – higher education administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration at UTEP and is a Certified Public Accountant for the State of Texas.

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Bill Britton

Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO)

William J. “Bill” Britton is responsible for managing the university’s information technology enterprise, while also building the Cybersecurity Center into a nationally-prominent education and research facility. Before joining Cal Poly, Britton spent 3 years with Parsons and served for twenty years as an Intelligence Officer and an Electronic Warfare Officer in the United States Air Force. Britton has a Master’s Certificate in Program Management from Villanova University, a Master’s degree in Strategic Intelligence from Joint Military Intelligence College, a Master’s degree in History from California State University, Stanislaus, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Elon University.

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Chris Murphy

Vice President, University Communications and Marketing

Chris Murphy leads the communications and public relations arm of Cal Poly and serves on the President's Leadership Council, Cal Poly Local Economic Development Committee, Cal Poly Inclusive Excellence Council, as well as chairing the Cal Poly Strategic Preparedness Committee. Prior to joining Cal Poly, Chris led the public relations and corporate communications function of TSFC, a large consumer-product food company, as well as SUPERVALU, a Fortune 50 Company. Murphy obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and communications from USC.

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Denise Isom

Interim Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

Dr. Denise Isom, chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, serves as the Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Isom returns to lead OUDI after having previously served as the office’s interim Assistant Director and interim Director. Her scholarship and research agenda centers on racialized gender identity and has been published in numerous books and academic journals and she is the co-author of the forthcoming book “Multicultural Psychology: Self, Society, and Social Change." Isom is widely recognized for her many contributions to the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion work over the years, including having received the 2020 Martin Luther King Legacy Award this past February. Isom received her doctorate from Loyola University in Chicago in socio-cultural anthropology of education, and holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, a bachelor's of science degree in engineering and a bachelor's of arts degree in African American studies from the University of California at Davis.

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Terrance Harris

Vice President, Strategic Enrollment Management

Terrance Harris serves as the Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management. He has spent most of his entire professional career in the enrollment space serving in rolls in recruitment, as well as managing admissions advising and operations, data management, communications and enrollment development. Outside of his professional experience, Harris has coached high school basketball for 20 years and mentored hundreds of students as they navigated through this critical portion of their lives. His spouse and 3 young daughters are the inspiration for all that he does. Harris earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cal Poly.

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Jessica Darin

Chief of Staff

Jessica Darin oversees the daily operations of the President’s Office, which includes the office of Student Ombuds Services and the Office of University Legal Counsel. She also serves as President Armstrong’s point of contact with Cal Poly’s Academic Senate, Associated Students, Inc., and other internal and external stakeholders. Prior to joining Cal Poly, Darin spent three years serving as deputy chief of staff for CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and worked for seven years in the Chancellor’s Office at UC Riverside. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Riverside and master’s degrees in management from the University of Redlands and in public administration from Cal State Long Beach.

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Keith B. Humphrey

Vice President, Student Affairs

Dr. Humphrey leads one of the largest divisions on campus and is responsible for developing and implementing year-round Student Affairs programming, services, and events that, research shows, will directly impact the progression, retention, and graduation rates of students. He is also part of the university leadership that advocates to our community, policy makers, and Chancellor’s Office for all student engagement and campus-wide programming that occurs outside of the classroom at Cal Poly. Prior to joining Cal Poly in 2012, Dr. Humphrey was the assistant vice president and dean of students at the University of Arizona. He was also the associate dean of students, director of orientation and served as the assistant professor of practice and coordinator of the master’s program in higher education at the university’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. Dr. Humphrey obtained his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, master’s degree from James Madison University and doctorate from the University of Arizona.

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Zack Smith

Vice President, University Development and Alumni Engagement and CEO of the Cal Poly Foundation

Zack Smith is the Vice President of University Development and CEO of the Cal Poly Foundation. Smith oversees ongoing efforts to achieve the university’s philanthropic goals and raise private funds in support of the university’s programs. Smith brings extensive higher education, nonprofit management and fundraising experience to this role. Prior to joining Cal Poly, he served as executive director of development for the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego where he led the efforts of the external relations staff including major and principal gifts, donor relations, stewardship and events. Before joining the Jacobs School, he served in a similar role at UCSD's Rady School of Management as well as in leadership and development roles at the Palomar Health Foundation, the California Western School of Law and Portland State University. Smith earned a Bachelors Degree in criminology and criminal justice and a MBA at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego.

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 Al Liddicoat

Vice President, University Personnel and Chief Human Resources Officer 

Al Liddicoat is responsible for managing the division of University Personnel, which includes the Human Resources and Academic Personnel departments and the Civil Rights and Compliance Office. University Personnel engages as a partner across campus to best serve the university employees and community. Al began his administrative career as the assistant vice president for Academic Personnel in 2006 and prior to his current role served Cal Poly as vice provost for Academic Affairs and Personnel and the interim dean of the Orfalea College of Business. He has held various leadership assignments overseeing academic personnel, the center for teaching, learning and technology, academic affairs technology services, institutional research and has participated in strategic planning, diversity equity and inclusion, budgeting and recruitment efforts, as well as led critical CSU systemwide initiatives, including chairing the CSU steering committee for a common human resource system. He is a tenured professor in Computer and Electrical Engineering.

Robin Webb

University Counsel

Robin Webb joined the Office of General Counsel in 2017 and previously served in a similar role at CSU San Bernardino. She also serves as resource attorney for first amendment, FMLA and residency. Before joining the CSU, Webb was a partner in the Irvine law firm of Grant, Genovese & Baratta where she was a trial attorney and insurance coverage counsel in many different types of civil litigation matters. Webb also served as a settlement officer for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and as a mediator in various jurisdictions. Webb earned a juris doctorate and a bachelor’s degree from USC.

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