Dean's Office

Andrew J. ThulinDean

Andrew J. Thulin, Ph.D. 

Andrew J. Thulin has led Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) as dean for 10 years. A Cal Poly alumnus, he joined the college in 1998 as head of its Animal Science Department. In that time, he has worked to ensure the college is continuously poised to prepare future generations of students in sustainable agriculture practices that will build long-term food safety and security, environmental sustainability, and climate-smart agricultural systems.

During his 25-year tenure, more than $230 million has been raised for numerous new laboratories and the construction of a new Beef Center, Animal Nutrition Center, J & G Lau Meat Processing Center, Oppenheimer Family Equine Center, Boswell Ag Tech Center in the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation, and the $22 million JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, which has been recognized as the largest donor-funded project in California State University history. All projects were built to reflect Thulin’s vision of offering advanced technologies to provide students with the hands-on experience needed to succeed and thrive in varied industries.                  

As dean, Thulin has hired nearly 100 new faculty and numerous full-time lecturers to support the college’s nine departments and 15 majors, with an emphasis on adding international and diverse expertise.His focus on expanding student and faculty success has helped pave the way for faculty to grow research grant funding to $21 million in 2022 from about $5.5 million in 2014. In addition, hispassionforproviding students the opportunities to innovate and conduct undergraduate researchshowed throughthe development of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), which has supported as many as 100 students and faculty with up to $400,000 each summer.

Thulin has consistently partnered with industry leaders who recognize and share the value of investing in the future to provide significant funding to launch the Cal Poly Strawberry Center, the Grimm Family Center for Organic Production and Research, and the Wildland-Urban Interface FIRE Institute, and to reinvent the Dairy Processing and Technology Center, all of which are poised to expose students daily to existing challenges and prepare them to be future leaders in industries that sustain life.

Thulin graduated from Cal Poly with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and completed his master’s and doctorate degrees at Kansas State University. He sits on several academic, industry and government boards, including: founding member, Cal Poly Foundation Board of Directors; secretary-treasurer, Cal Poly Corporation; site director, Food Systems Leadership Institute; and site dean, California Ag Leadership Institute.



Photo of Jim PrinceSenior Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Programs

Jim Prince, Ph.D.​

Dr. Prince oversees research coordination and funding, and grant and research support. Previously, he served as vice provost for academic affairs for CSU Sacramento, as well as a faculty member in their department of biological sciences. Prior to that, he was an associate dean at CSU Chico, and also held several positions at CSU Fresno. He has more than 30 years of agricultural research experience, including at Cornell University, with USDA-ARS, and at Fresno State.

Dr. Prince earned his bachelor's degree in botany from UC Davis and his doctorate degree in botany and plant molecular biology from Cornell University.


Photo of Jim PrinceAssociate Dean, Student Success and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Ann De Lay, Ph.D.

Ann De Lay is the college’s associate dean of student success and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). She joined Cal Poly in 2008, working previously in the college’s Agricultural Education and Communication Department as a professor and graduate coordinator, supervising, evaluating and mentoring teacher candidates during their clinical practice. She also served as the advisor for the Latinos in Agriculture Club and has held several appointments as a CAFES faculty fellow in the areas of DEI, assessment and the quarter to semester transition.

De Lay earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Cal State Fresno, a master’s degree in agriculture at Cal Poly and a doctorate degree in agricultural education at the University of Florida.

Photo of Jim PrinceAssociate Dean, Operations and Infrastructure

Will Marchese, J.D.

Will Marchese joined the college in June 2023 as the associate dean of operations and infrastructure, overseeing strategic planning and operations of the college’s infrastructure and 18 production operations, which generate more than $5M in annual revenue. Previously, he held roles at CSU San Marcos, Cal Poly Corporation and UC Santa Barbara. He earned a bachelor's degree from UC Davis and a juris doctor from Lincoln Law School.



Photo of Russ KabakerAssistant Dean, Advancement and External Relations

Russ Kabaker

Russ Kabaker joined the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences as the assistant dean of advancement and external relations in June 2014. His focus is to provide a seamless and coordinated program of outreach that fosters strong relationships with internal and external partners, enhancing support for the college and its many disciplines.

Prior to joining Cal Poly, Kabaker had an extensive agribusiness management career at Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds, where he was responsible for sales and marketing for the Americas, Australia and New Zealand for various segments within the produce industry. Prior to that, Kabaker worked for the ag operations division of Bakersfield, Calif.,-based Grimmway Farms.

Kabaker is an alumnus of Cal Poly. While a Cal Poly student, he spent his summers working as a wild land firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service for six seasons.



Photo of Russ KabakerAssistant Dean, Strategic Initiatives, Communications and Student Leadership

Haley Marconett

Haley Marconett is responsible for college-wide strategic initiatives, communications and stakeholder engagement, and student leadership and recruitment. She has more than 25 years of experience as an executive-level advisor overseeing strategic communications, planning and operations. Before joining Cal Poly, she spent her career in private industry, leading strategic communications and executive positioning for Fortune 100 companies. Marconett is a graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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