Cal Poly research dean retires after 19 years

Susan Opava, Cal Poly’s dean of Research and Graduate Programs, retired Dec. 28. Opava had been “responsible for facilitating growth and development in research and graduate programs, including oversight of appropriate administrative policies and procedures,” according to a statement by the university.

Opava, who worked for the university for 19 years, played a key role in the development of the Cal Poly Technology Park, which opened in June 2010. She was also a founding member and director of the California Central Coast Research Partnership and was instrumental in the development of policies and programs for Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property.

During her tenure, she expanded the university’s Research Scholars in Residence program to 10 active scholars. As well, she helped extramural funding grow to a high of $29 million in 2008-09 from $8 million in 1992-93. The funding reached $25 million in 2011-12.

Opava has served her community in a variety of capacities, including being a member of the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County, the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Sub-committee.