The Common Good at Cal Poly
Universities strive to create an atmosphere and environment full of opportunities for students to deepen their learning and to gain knowledge. Indeed, much of this learning happens outside the classroom and beyond a student's specific college, with a purpose of engaging them in creative, stimulating ways that foster an appreciation for the humanities and sciences and contribute to a lifelong pattern of personal and professional growth.
Enriching both town and gown
These intellectual and cultural opportunities serve equally well for the enrichment of faculty and as a way for the University to share with the surrounding community the wide range of its educational offerings.
As a resource these units are typically open to the citizens of our region, thereby enriching both town and gown. At Cal Poly such academic units are known as a "common good."
Rich body of cultural resources
As a group these units encompass a rich body of cultural resources, or "goods," including arts programs, libraries, exhibits, invited speakers, athletic events, and more.
Cal Poly Arts, the Robert E. Kennedy Library, Leaning Pine Arboretum and Cal Poly Athletics are all examples of units with educational missions that serve both the campus and local communities.
The challenge of funding
A common characteristic of common-good units is that they are challenged to fund their activities and resources. Common-good units exist largely through a combination of University or College funding, ticket sales, or donations from grateful friends and alumni. Even as they enrich our lives, common-good units must work hard to survive.
But common-good units are more than an enrichment of campus life. In so many ways, they are the ties that bind the campus community together, and bind the campus with the local community.
Each would be considerably poorer without these activities and resources. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a university worthy of the label without the cultural events and resources that common-good units provide.
Common Good units are those that:
- Enrich the intellectual or cultural life of Cal Poly and the entire region;
- Support the academic mission of the University and foster life-long learning;
- Enhance the University's value to the community by being open to everyone;
- Rely on financial support from the University, alumni and friends.