Orfalea College of Business (OCOB) Dean Scott Dawson announced his retirement at the end of this academic year to pursue a career in the private sector.

Dawson came to Cal Poly in 2014 after working at Portland State University for 29 years, 14 of which he spent as a dean. He said he made the move to Cal Poly because “this was a great opportunity” and he felt like he had spent “long enough” at Portland State.

Since being hired, Dawson launched several master’s programs in the college and built “broader and deeper relationships” with alumni and employers. He also started the Spotlight Award to recognize and celebrate alumni’s accomplishments and brought a “greater focus on career readiness” to the college.

Amy Carter, assistant dean for student success in OCOB, described him as “caring, innovative and forward thinking.” Carter also said Dawson did a lot to improve career readiness in the college, including planning industry tours for students and inviting alumni and industry experts for campus visits.

It has been wonderful to work with a dean that listens, empowers others around him to lead and is so student-centered,” Carter said. 

One thing Dawson pushed for while at Cal Poly was the construction of new student center. So far, he completed the programming and raised $1.6 million for the project. Dawson said he wants to see the student center get named before he retires.

After retiring from Cal Poly, Dawson is interested in consulting.

“I love our students and alumni and I love Cal Poly, but I just wanted to go out at what feels like the right time,” Dawson said.

The search for a new dean will be underway soon. The Academic Senate is putting together a committee to fill the position.

“I hope the new dean is someone who will continue to expand and deepen relationships with alumni,” Dawson said.

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