Dec. 27, 2016

Contact: Matt Lazier

Cal Poly Engineering Dean Named Provost at Chico State

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly today announced that Debra Larson, dean of the College of Engineering, is leaving the university to take on the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Chico. Larson’s last day with Cal Poly will be Friday, Feb. 24.

“Cal Poly’s College of Engineering is ranked among the best in the nation, and we thank Dr. Larson for her stewardship and leadership during her tenure,” said Kathleen Enz Finken Cal Poly’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We wish her continued success in this next chapter of her career.”

Larson has been the dean of Cal Poly’s College of Engineering since 2011. Prior to that appointment, she served as chair, associate dean and associate vice provost during her 17 years of service at Northern Arizona University (NAU). She also worked as a civil engineer in the private sector for more than a decade before her work at NAU.

Enz Finken will meet with the Cal Poly’s College of Engineering department heads and chairs, as well as other members of the campus community, prior to naming an interim dean. That announcement, along with details regarding the search for a permanent dean, is anticipated to occur at the beginning of Cal Poly’s winter quarter.

About Cal Poly Engineering
A leader in engineering education, the College of Engineering promotes “project-based learning” to link theory with hands-on practice. Graduates are well prepared to enter graduate school or the engineering profession. Cal Poly engineers are highly sought by industry because they are known to have “two feet on the ground and two hands on the problem.” For more information, visit

About Cal Poly
Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives. For more information, visit

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