Credit: Cal Poly | Courtesy

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Dean Andrew “Andy” Thulin will retire from Cal Poly at the end of the 2023 calendar year, according to a campus-wide email sent Tuesday. 

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore wrote in the email that, serving as dean for the past 10 years, Thulin has had a large role in shaping the CAFES into a more environmentally friendly and innovative college.

“[Thulin] has worked to ensure the college is continuously poised to prepare future generations of students in sustainable agriculture practices that will build long-term food safety and security, environmental sustainability, and climate-smart agricultural systems,”  Jackson-Elmoore said.

Already a Cal Poly alum, Thulin was hired at Cal Poly in 1998 as the head of the Animal Science Department. Over his 25 years working at Cal Poly, he has helped raise more than $230 million for new resources and programs, including the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, according to the email.

“The decision to retire was not an easy one to make but after 25 years it is time that I start the next chapter of my life, with an added focus on my family, including our four young grandchildren,” Thulin wrote to Mustang News. “My love of Cal Poly runs deep and it will always be a part of my life. In what capacity will be determined in the future.”

Cal Poly will conduct a national search for the college’s next dean in a partnership with a third party firm. Meanwhile, Jackson-Elmoore said the university will work with Thulin for a smooth transition of the current and upcoming projects in the college. 

“I encourage you all to continue to dream big and do what others believe is impossible,” Thulin wrote. “Challenge the boundaries of innovation and create powerful change. Our college is focused on sustaining life — food security, environmental sustainability and climate smart agriculture — while embracing one another’s ideas and cultural backgrounds. California and the world need you, our future graduates, as leaders.”