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Dean San Luis Obispo, CA

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), a distinguished public undergraduate and Master’s level institution located in San Luis Obispo, California, seeks a new Dean of the Orfalea College of Business. The University seeks a visionary leader with a deep and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; a solid scholarly record; and the ability to foster collaboration within the College, across the University, and beyond.

Cal Poly aspires to be the nation’s premier comprehensive polytechnic university, developing and inspiring innovative whole system thinkers to serve California and the world at large. The Dean’s principal responsibilities will be to promote Cal Poly’s mission of “Learn by Doing” through excellent business education in a comprehensive polytechnic setting, generating career-ready graduates. The Dean will work in close partnership with the Provost, President, other senior administrators, faculty and staff, and students, to lead and oversee the College’s vision and identity, academic programs and scholarship, student success, and external reputation and relationships. The successful candidate will be an inspiring and energetic leader with the proven capacity to advance an academic mission through excellent stewardship, thoughtful cultivation of key relationships and sound financial management.

In 2001, Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s and the Orfalea Family Foundation provided a $15M endowment to further the strategic plan of Cal Poly’s College of Business to become one of the nation’s premier undergraduate and graduate programs. Today, the Orfalea endowment earnings are used for faculty support, student support and for college facilities.  The Orfalea College of Business is an engaged learning community that contributes to business and society through discovery and application. The faculty within the College are organized into six academic areas - Accounting and Law; Economics; Finance; Industrial Technology & Packaging; Management, HR & Information Systems; and Marketing - each headed by an area chair. At the undergraduate level, the college offers programs leading to degrees of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Economics, and Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology & Packaging as well as minors in Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Integrated Marketing Communications, Sales, Industrial Technology, and Packaging. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics programs can choose from nine different concentrations: Accounting, Consumer Packaging Solutions, Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Information Systems, Management & HR, Marketing Management, Quantitative Analysis, and Real Estate Finance. At the graduate level, the college offers five specialized M.S. programs (Accounting, Business Analytics, Packaging Value Chain, Quantitative Economics, and Taxation) and an MBA program.

Cal Poly, one of 23 universities in the California State University (CSU) System, is located in San Luis Obispo, a coastal city halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The San Luis Obispo community is nestled close to the Pacific Ocean, has a population of over 46,000, and is an area with an extraordinary quality of life. The economy is based largely on agriculture and tourism and the region is known for producing world-class wine. With close proximity to many excellent vineyards on the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo (or “SLO” for short), is the geographic and figurative heart of California. The San Luis Obispo Regional Airport offers commercial air service to eight major airports, and Amtrak offers daily rail service in California and other destinations.

The search committee will review nominations and applications until the position is filled. However, to ensure full consideration, applicants are encouraged to submit materials by March 22, 2021. The anticipated starting date for the position is July 1, 2021.

To apply, visit to complete the required online Cal Poly Application. In addition, each applicant must provide as separate attachments to the online application a detailed curriculum vitae or resume, a cover letter, and a Diversity Statement. The cover letter should address the applicant’s qualifications and experience for this position, including a personal statement of the applicant’s views on academic administration and the role and responsibilities of business faculty, as well as the applicant’s experiences with and views on leadership, and their management style.

David Bellshaw is leading this search with Brett Barbour.

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