Letter From The Dean’s Office



In the short time I’ve had the privilege of serving as the interim dean of the Orfalea College of Business, I’ve been amazed by the energy, resilience, and creativity I’ve found here. As the theme of this issue of Cal Poly Business suggests, our students, faculty, and alumni are working every day to help shape the future.

In these pages, you’ll find stories that embody this—ranging from a feature about a student club, which is rapidly preparing its members for the emerging field of fintech, to an item about our Global Business Leaders Initiative, which was designed within the college to create the next generation of international business executives.

Other themes like social responsibility, ethical leadership, and community emerge, highlighted by our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, our annual Spotlight Alumni Awards recipients, and in a piece that details how a classroom project transformed into a much larger point of empowerment for students. The best of our college’s values also come into focus, particularly with regard to how our community is contributing to some of the most important aspects of our national and global conversations—from Professor T.J. Weber’s research on predictive biases in social media, to alumnus Alan Puccinelli, who converted his business practically overnight to assist first responders of the COVID-19 crises.

I’ve been amazed by the energy, resilience, and creativity I’ve found here. As the theme of this issue of Cal Poly Business suggests, our students, faculty, and alumni are working every day to help shape the future.

Obviously, the events that have played out across the world over the last few months, as we’ve faced a fluid and unsettling pandemic, have changed many of our lives—and what a polytechnic education looks like. My initial thought here is simply my best wishes that you, your family, and all of your loved ones are safe and healthy. My second is an assurance that our instructors, staff, and campus leaders are working tirelessly to create a safe, engaging, and exceptional educational environment. This includes the great work that our student leaders have done to continue to host things like virtual club meetings, engage with industry mentors, organize career fairs, and even deliver a virtual open house for prospective students.

My final thought is an observation, based on everything I’ve seen within the college and across our Cal Poly community, that our students, faculty, and alumni are exactly the type of leaders we need in this moment and beyond as we adapt, problem-solve, and move forward. I hope this magazine finds you well and offers a bright spot of pride and inspiration. Thank you so much for reading—and for your support of the Orfalea College of Business.

Al Liddicoat

Interim Dean

Orfalea College of Business