President Jeffrey D. Armstrong
Jeffrey D. Armstrong began his tenure as Cal Poly's ninth permanent president on February 1, 2011, with a determination to enhance the University's renowned Learn by Doing teaching approach.
Dr. Armstrong brings to Cal Poly a blend of experience as an honored teacher, respected researcher, and experienced administrator. At Cal Poly, he has focused on ways to improve graduation rates. To further bolster student success, he has sought to expand university-industry partnerships to attract more applied research to the campus, thus increasing professional development experiences for faculty in order to enrich classroom instruction.
As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Armstrong is particularly passionate about nurturing a campus climate that embraces inclusion and diversity. "To succeed in our increasingly multicultural society," Dr. Armstrong says, "our students need to experience the world as it really is."
As a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) executive committee, Dr. Armstrong joins a dedicated coalition of senior business and higher education executives committed to advancing innovative solutions to U.S. education and workforce challenges.
Dr. Armstrong also served from 2011 to 2015 on the board of Aware Awake Alive, a national alcohol-awareness program created to educate young people on the symptoms of alcohol poisoning, create awareness on the conditions that enable it, and encourage responsibility for one another in situations where alcohol is consumed.
He participates in numerous California State University (CSU) committees, including the CSU Agricultural Advisory Committee, CSU Agricultural Research Initiative, CSU Water Resources and Policy Initiatives, CSU Technology Steering Committee, and CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST). Dr. Armstrong also is one of two CSU representatives on the Board of Directors of the California Council on Science and Technology.
Before joining Cal Poly, Dr. Armstrong served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University (MSU), beginning in 2001. He 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 (NCSU) from 1986 through 1997.
As a faculty member at NCSU, Armstrong was known for engaging students in the classroom and was awarded numerous honors for his teaching excellence. He also was named Alumni Distinguished Professor for Undergraduate Teaching.
A recognized leader in nutrition and reproduction in large food animals, Dr. Armstrong has helped raise more than $9 million in grants and cooperative agreements to support research on social responsibility in the food chain. He has written or contributed to more than 45 scientific journal articles.
Over his career, he has served as chairman of the United Egg Producers Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and advised McDonald's Corp. on animal welfare and broader issues related to corporate social responsibility. He served as chairman of the Michigan Board of Agriculture Assembly Farm Bill Committee and, in 2009, contributed to significant changes in Congress' farm legislation. Dr. Armstrong also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Seventh District Advisory Council.
Raised on a beef cattle, swine, and tobacco farm in Western Kentucky, Armstrong attended Murray State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1981. He earned both a master's (1984) and doctorate (1986) in physiology from North Carolina State University.
Jeff and his wife, Sharon, have two children who currently reside in Michigan. Their son Zack is a financial advisor; and their daughter Jessica is a physician in obstetrics and gynecology - married to Dean Gibbie, who is a realtor. Jessica and Dean are parents to the Armstrongs’ two grandchildren – Colton and Carter.