Doug Cerf, former interim dean of the Orfalea College of Business, has been named interim executive director of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE). In his new role, he will help guide Cal Poly programs in entrepreneurship and hospitality.
CIE leaders made the announcement last week to the center’s Founders’ Circle, comprised of advisors, advocates and investors in the entrepreneurial business community. Cerf will work closely with Jonathan York, faculty director and co-founder of CIE. While York will remain focused on student projects and curriculum on campus, Cerf will build CIE’s infrastructure to sustain its success going forward, including a financial vision for the center and a plan for student spaces on and off campus.
“I’m excited to continue the involvement I had with CIE during my time as interim dean,” Cerf said. “I hope to ensure the right foundation is in place so that faculty, staff and students can continue to thrive there.”
York said, “Doug’s role is important (to CIE) as we fortify the program at such a critical stage of its growth and secure permanent leadership to take us forward.”
With Cerf in his new role, CIE anticipates an important year of growth ahead, including a remodel of CIE’s space on the Cal Poly campus in 2015. Cerf will also explore building partnerships to link entrepreneurial students to immersive learning opportunities in the Silicon Valley.
Cerf will also help explore and develop multidisciplinary programs in partnership involving the CIE, the Orfalea College of Business and Cal Poly’s other colleges.
“The Orfalea College of Business has been a critical part of forging innovative programs at Cal Poly, and I’m honored to continue that tradition with my new role,” says Cerf.
Cerf joined the faculty at Cal Poly in 1990. His history with the Orfalea College of Business includes roles as accounting professor, accounting area chair, and associate dean in charge of undergraduate programs. Most recently, Cerf served as interim dean, navigating the transition between former Dean Dave Christy’s departure in 2013 and Dean Scott Dawson’s arrival Aug. 1 of this year.
Cerf’s area of expertise lies in accounting and financial management, particularly how industry can support sustainability and impact the public interest positively. His teaching has taken him abroad as a visiting professor to the Copenhagen Business School and Politecnico di Milano in Italy.