March 28, 2023
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Cal Poly names new business dean


Scott Dawson, dean of the School of Business and Administration at Portland State University, has been named the new dean of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Orfalea College of Business. He will begin his post on Aug. 1.

At Portland State, Dawson previously served as interim dean for the School of Business and Administration and associate dean for graduate programs. He has been a member of the faculty since 1985 and, Cal Poly said, “is known for engaging students in hands-on learning experiences.”

Dawson has also consulted for companies such as Costco and InFocus Systems and advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy.

“Scott Dawson is a visionary leader, a skilled administrator, and someone who knows how to bring people together,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a statement. “Most importantly, he shares Cal Poly’s commitment to student success and ‘learn by doing.’ ”

At Portland State, Dawson currently manages a faculty of 55 instructors and a $17 million budget, Cal Poly said. He led the creation of the business school’s 40-member Business Advisory Council, which tapped private-sector leaders in the Portland, Ore., to assist with the school’s strategic and philanthropic development. He also helped to develop new international programs and industry partnerships, Cal Poly said.

“I am excited about working with the faculty, staff and alumni to develop opportunities that leverage the outstanding people and programs that exist at Cal Poly,” Dawson said in a statement. “The Orfalea College of Business has a long history of attracting talented students who are highly sought after graduation by many of the world’s leading companies. I look forward to building relationships with alumni and the business community that will help advance the college to an even higher level of excellence.”

Dawson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA and doctorate degree in business from the University of Arizona.

Dawson succeeds former Orfalea College of Business Dean Dave Christy, who held the post from 2004 to 2013. Christy left Cal Poly to become the provost of Baruch College in New York City.