Orfalea College of Business Appoints New Associate Deans

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has appointed three associate deans to the leadership team that will support Dean Scott Dawson as he implements a strategic vision for the college.

Sanjiv Jaggia is associate dean for graduate programs, Kevin Lertwachara is associate dean for undergraduate programs, and Rami Shani is associate dean for faculty and research.

Dawson said this leadership structure will ensure the college’s ability to implement the new strategy as it bolsters its external presence with alumni, industry partners and supporters worldwide. “In order to set our sights on our big goals — career readiness, international partnerships, targeted graduate programs, and cross-pollination with other disciplines — we have to put the right structure in place,” Dawson said. “My confidence in this team is echoed strongly by their colleagues, and that gives us a great place to start.”

Jaggia will lead the college’s graduate programs, which include master’s degrees in business administration, tax, financial accounting and economics. In his new role, he will strengthen the quality of existing programs, lead the development of new programs, connect students to research opportunities, enhance study-abroad partnerships, and foster industry mentorships. Jaggia joined Cal Poly in 2007 and has research interest in empirical finance and econometrics.

Lertwachara will guide undergraduate programs among the college’s six academic areas with a particular focus on preparing career-ready graduates. He will work closely with industry leaders who hire Orfalea College of Business alumni to evolve curricula and experiences outside the classroom in step with industry demand. Lertwachara has been an information systems professor at Cal Poly since 2004, applying his expertise to electronic commerce, online social networks, and health care information. He formerly served as the college’s Management, Human Resources and Information Systems Area chair.

Shani will oversee faculty and research, directing faculty development, hiring, retention and promotion to ensure the college maintains the highest-quality instructors who build a leading experiential business education for students. In support of the university’s teacher-scholar model, Shani will also connect faculty with research opportunities that help advance the fields they teach. Shani joined Cal Poly in 1984, teaching organizational behavior. He has also taught in China, France, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Sweden.

Kris McKinlay will remain in the dean’s office under a new title, the Orfalea College of Business’ Assistant Dean for Operations and Student Success.

Dawson began his role as dean on Aug. 1 after 14 years as dean of Portland State University’s School of Business Administration.