By Amber Frias
Richard Lapidus, the dean of the Cal Poly Pomona College of Business Administration, will leave his post this summer after six years at the university.
Lapidus was named president of Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts by the university’s Board of Trustees. The selection was announced in December, and will be effective July 1.
“I’m obviously excited for the new challenge, but I’m a little sad to leave here [CPP],” said Lapidus. “We had a really good run over the last six years.”
After serving as the associate dean of administration and an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Lapidus came to CPP. Lapidus arrived at CPP at the time the financial crisis hit the department.
“I was the guy that had to cancel summer quarter in the College of Business,” said Lapidus.
Through the financial crisis, Lapidus was able to balance out budget limitations with meeting faculty needs.
“He’s had to deal with a very challenging economic time,” said Cheryl Wyrick, associate dean of College of Business Administration. “During that time, he was able to maintain good faculty moral even though the budget was not as great as it could be. He was always trying to be fair and considerate of everyone’s concerns.”
Lapidus was also dean during the renovation of the college’s complex, and for the reaccreditation of the college.
Lapidus believes that the CBA remodeling had a positive impact on the students and faculty. He said that the new classrooms and learning and collaborative materials in the complex have received great reviews and recognition.
“The accreditation piece is sort of a confirmation that we’re doing a good job in staying current with our discipline, and giving students the cutting edge to stay competitive when they graduate,” said Lapidus.
Lapidus believes that the productivity over the past six years has given great momentum to the entire college.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” said Lapidus. “There are a lot of good things about this campus, and I think the future holds a lot of promise.”
Lapidus maintained close relationships with student club officials, participated in student fundraising and took part in a speaker series hosted by the United Business Senate.
“At the end of the day, the job is really all about the students and student success,” he said.
During Lapidus’s tenure, the College of Business Administration Recognition Night was the most successful it had been in years.
“He works with the students really well,” said Wyrick. “They seem to like to be around him.”
Krystal Betanzos, senior international business student and president of the Business Council, says that Lapidus’s encouragement gave her the strength to run for president.
“Knowing that your college’s dean is there to support you gives you the extra motivation needed to excel within your organization and beyond,” said Betanzos.
The process to find a new dean for the college has not yet begun.
“I’m happy for him, but it would be great if he could stay,” said Wyrick.
Lapidus had a few words of advice to the upcoming dean.
“Successful administrators always understand that faculty will outlive them, so if you don’t seek that participation and engagement, it won’t work,” said Lapidus. “We have lots and lots of smart people at this university. We’ve got to empower them to try and put the vision into place and have them help to create that vision and have it be a collective vision.”
Wyrick claims that Lapidus is diifferent from other deans because of the way he carries himself.
“He’s a very down-to-earth, approachable person and it makes it easy to talk to him,” said Wyrick. “He has an open door policy. He listens to people’s concerns and is very thoughtful and reflective in his comments. He has been an asset to the college.”
The College of Business Administration wishes Lapidus luck as he moves forward. He will be missed by the staff, faculty and students.
“On behalf of the United Business Student Senate and our College of Business Administration organizations, we thank him for his amazing service and we appreciate his dedication to making sure our college career within the College of Business was a memorable one,” said Betanzos.
Racieli Andrada / The Poly Post
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