Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz Finken has announced the appointment of an interim dean for the Orfalea College of Business. Kevin Lertwachara, associate dean for the college’s undergraduate programs, will serve as interim dean effective Nov. 1.
Current Dean Scott Dawson announced he will step down after the loss of his wife, Bridget, in a bicycling accident in July. Dawson plans to return to Portland, Ore., to be closer to family and friends.
Enz Finken also announced that marketing Professor Stern Neill will serve as interim associate dean for undergraduate programs. Neill will provide additional support and guidance to the college’s career-readiness initiatives. He will work closely with Amy Carter, who was recently named assistant dean of student success in the Orfalea College of Business.
“I am very pleased to have Professors Lertwachara and Neill join the leadership team during this period of transition,” said Enz Finken. “They have been fully engaged members of the Cal Poly community over the years, and are highly respected for their thoughtful and collegial leadership of college initiatives.”
Lertwachara joined the Cal Poly faculty in 2004 as a professor teaching information systems. He received Orfalea’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award in 2009 and served as the Management, Human Resources and Information Systems Area chair from 2013 to 2014.
Lertwachara earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thailand and an MBA from Westminster College. He also earned a doctorate in operations and information management from the University of Connecticut.
Neill joined Cal Poly’s Marketing Area in 2008 after teaching for eight years at the University of Washington, Tacoma. He is also a visiting scholar at Yashan University in China. Neill earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate in business administration from Louisiana State University. He also holds an MBA from Southeastern Louisiana University. He serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Business Research and Industrial Marketing Management.
Cal Poly will conduct a national search for the next permanent dean of the college.