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J. Michael Ortiz
J. Michael Ortiz

Dr. J. Michael Ortiz

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Office of the President


In 2003, J. Michael Ortiz was appointed president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Throughout Ortiz’s tenure, he has focused on expanding the university’s impact on the greater community, which was highlighted by the launch of a comprehensive campaign, the greatest single fundraising effort in university history. Ortiz has also emphasized Cal Poly Pomona’s learning-centered approach, ensuring that learning is embedded in every program, course and activity on campus.

Ortiz is a well-known expert in early childhood special education, and has made numerous presentations in a range of related fields, including professional development, academic assessment, learning styles, the educational use of technology, and teaching children with special needs. He has also served as a special advisor to the United States President’s Commission on Mental Retardation.

Ortiz serves in numerous leadership roles outside of campus. He is a member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment Leadership Circle, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Committee on Teacher Education and Task Force on Sustainability. He is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Fair Association and serves on the boards of the City of Pomona Youth & Family Plan, Pomona Community Foundation and Pomona Valley Boys and Girls Club. Ortiz’s honors include the Hermanos Unidos Service to the Community Award, the Raices Alumni Association Nopal Award for Leadership, being recognized among the 100 most influential Latinos (Hispanic Business magazine) and named among Latino Leaders magazine’s “Top 25 Latinos in Education.”

Academic Experience

President, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2003 to date.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University, Fresno, 1999-2003.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University, Fresno, 1997-99.

Associate Provost and Professor of Special Education, California State University, Fresno, 1996-97.

Interim Provost, University of Southern Colorado, 1995-96.

Associate Provost, University of Southern Colorado, 1993-95.

Dean of Continuing Education and Professor of Special Education, University of Southern Colorado, 1990-93.

Director, Office of Extension Instruction and Professor of Language, Reading and Exceptionalities, Appalachian State University, 1985-90.

Department Chair and Professor, Graduate Faculty, Appalachian State University, 1983-85.

Interim Department Chair and Professor, Graduate Faculty, Appalachian State University, 1982-83.

Professor, Graduate Faculty, Department of Special Education, Appalachian State University, 1981-82.

Associate Professor, Appalachian State University, 1976-81.

Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University, 1972-75.


Ph.D., Early Childhood Special Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
M.A., Special Education, University of New Mexico
B.A., English, Secondary Education and Coaching, University of New Mexico