Cal Poly Names Dean Wendt to Lead College of Science and Mathematics 

Alumnus will succeed Dean Phil Bailey, who is retiring after nearly 50 years at the university

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz Finken today announced that Dean Wendt, a biology professor and currently the university’s dean of research, will become dean of the College of Science and Mathematics effective July 1.

Wendt will succeed current Dean Phil Bailey, who is retiring after 48 years as a professor and administrator at the university, including 34 at the helm of the College of Science and Mathematics.

Wendt is a 1993 graduate of Cal Poly with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He returned to the university as a professor in 2002. In addition to his teaching and research roles, he leads Cal Poly’s Center for Coastal Marine Sciences.

“Dean brings outstanding leadership skills and campus knowledge as well as a genuine love of Cal Poly and the College of Science and Mathematics,” Enz Finken said. “He credits his time as an undergraduate at Cal Poly as one of the most influential factors for his career path.

“His energy and excitement will help move the college to the next level, and his rich history of teaching, research and student engagement combined with his most recent experiences as the dean of research and the director of the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences will serve him well in his new role.”

"I am deeply honored,” Wendt said, “to serve as the next dean of Cal Poly's College of Science and Mathematics. I look forward to working tirelessly on behalf of the staff, faculty, and students to achieve our collective vision and goals. For years, the College has been enriching lives through learning and innovation, and I am excited to work collaboratively to grow our impact and national reputation."

Wendt earned master’s and doctorate degrees in biology from Harvard University in 1995 and 1999, respectively. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and served as an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before returning to Cal Poly.

He served as associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics from 2011-14 and has served as dean of research since 2013.

In assuming leadership of the college from Bailey, Cal Poly’s longest-serving dean, Wendt will maintain his predecessor’s focus on student success and support of the university’s Learn by Doing approach.

“We are thankful to Phil Bailey for his decades of devotion to Cal Poly’s students, which has positively impacted the lives and careers of so many,” Enz Finken said.

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, California. 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

About the College of Science and Mathematics
Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics provides a lab-intensive education within a supportive, family atmosphere. Undergraduate research is central to the college’s Learn by Doing approach, giving students the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on real-world research projects. The college houses the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate teacher education programs, providing the state’s future teachers with a strong background in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM). For more information, visit

Wendt May 24 Math (STEM)

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