Robert E. Kennedy, 1967-1979
Robert E. Kennedy received his B.A. from San Diego State College in 1938, his M.A. in journalism from Stanford University in 1950, and his Ph.D. in education administration from Claremont Graduate School in 1966.
Kennedy joined the Cal Poly faculty in 1940 as a journalism instructor. He served as advisor to student publications, and during WWII, with the arrival of U.S. Naval training programs on the Cal Poly campus, instructed cadets in communications.
In 1946, Kennedy became head of the Journalism Dept., to which title he added public relations director in 1949. He was assistant to President Julian McPhee from 1950 to 1957; dean of the Arts and Sciences Division from 1957 to 1959; and vice president of Cal Poly from 1959 to 1967. Following the retirement of President McPhee, Kennedy was appointed president. In 1972, under President Kennedy's leadership, California Polytechnic State College was officially designated California Polytechnic State University.
During his long tenure as faculty and administrator at Cal Poly, Robert Kennedy represented the college on numerous state and national education councils, including the Chancellor's Council of Presidents and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). For the AASCU he served as a member of the board of directors, a representative to the Education Commission of the States and a member of AASCU committees on agriculture, public relations, and state relations.
In 1978, in honor of his long and dedicated service to Cal Poly, the CSUC Trustees voted to name the new Cal Poly library "The Robert E. Kennedy Library." Kennedy retired from the presidency at Cal Poly in 1979.