It’s All About Our Students
After 33 years as dean and 47 years at cal poly, phil bailey announces he will retire at the end of this school year.
There’s no one quite like Phil Bailey. It could be the Southern drawl or the big smile, but more likely it’s that he cares. Deeply. About everyone — the custodian who works in the dean’s office, the new faculty member, and especially the student on academic probation or the one who doesn’t have enough to eat.
Bailey coined the college’s motto “It’s all about our students” and has acted on it, both professionally and personally. From developing the “Study 25-35 hours per week” campaign, to championing the Baker Center, to inviting underrepresented students in need of financial assistance to stay with him and his wife, Tina, Bailey has supported student success campuswide with unwavering enthusiasm.
He considers all students “our students,” whether they take one general education class in the college or they major in chemistry. As he often says, “Every Cal Poly student is a College of Science and Mathematics student.”
We reached out to you, our alumni and friends, and asked what you remembered about Dean Bailey, and how he made a difference in your lives. The following selection of responses tells his story better than we ever could.
To see well wishes from former students to Dean Bailey, click the image to the left or click here.
COSAM has been so fortunate to have such an involved, passionate and caring dean and professor for so many years. Dr. Bailey always had our backs and pushed us to be our best.
WENDY HAMILTON | B.S., BIOLOLGICAL SCIENCES, 2002
Dean Bailey is such an amazing supporter of the school and the students — he will be missed. I've been so lucky to know him all these years; from a freshman home economics major changing to chemistry, to doing a study abroad in polymers, to introducing him to the Alpha Phi house, to serving on his advisory council. I'm excited to see him in his new role with the Frost Program, and glad to know he will still be active at the school.
JOAN PINDER | B.S., CHEMISTRY, 1979
Phil unselfishly supported me both morally and financially without expecting anything in return. He became one of the most important and influential people in my life. He encouraged me to apply to graduate school. He was there for me during the ups and downs. He even proofread my doctoral dissertation.
NHY Y TRAN STESSMAN | B.S., BIOCHEMISTRY, 1994
I worked for Dean Phil for a year, and he was truly one of the best bosses I ever had. I found out that he has reached out to so many students on a personal level and helped so many disadvantaged students get through college (and calculus!) over the years that it's amazing.
TERESA MARIANI HENDRIX
FORMER COLLEGE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
My favorite chemistry teacher and a role model! Thank you, Dean Bailey, for making a difference in my life.
JOHN BEATON | B.S., BIOCHEMISTRY, 1975; M.S., CHEMISTRY, 1980
Been a pleasure working here, largely because of Phil Bailey.
J. MICHAEL ROBERTSON | B.S., MATHEMATICS, 1995; LECTURER, MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT
Phil is more than a professional role model to me. He taught me that actions are stronger than words. He taught me about integrity, love, family, work ethic, charity, wine, how to make rice, living on the edge, even though sometimes he went beyond the edge. People tell you that you should join their institution. Come to Cal Poly and be part of the family. With Phil and Tina, it was a family in more ways than you can imagine.
VICTOR VILCHIZ | B.S., CHEMISTRY, 1996
He tipped me $20 when I was working at Starbucks. He’s an awesome guy.
KRISTINA JOSLIN | B.S., BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, 2011
Phil’s best advice to me was to always try my best, seek to learn, and be challenged.
BLANCA LOPEZ | B.S., MATHEMATICS, 2011;
M.S., MATHEMATICS, 2014
During my time at Cal Poly, I always thought of you as approachable, committed, concerned for your students, kind, funny, and just plain awesome! COSAM students were lucky to have the best dean around. I am now a mom to two young daughters, and I enjoy teaching them the science and beauty of the natural world around us. I am forever grateful for the lessons you helped teach us at Cal Poly.
NICOLE GERBRANDT | B.S., BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 2004
I have never met a power couple like Phil and Tina. They have shaped the way I think. They have shaped the way I react. They have shaped the way I want to be in the future. When I was at Cal Poly, I asked Phil and Tina why it is that they help students in the manner that they do, and they simply said, ‘Because it’s the right thing to do.’
SYLVIA AGUILAR | B.S., MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, 2013
A Chronology of Phil Bailey at Cal Poly
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