Campus: Cal Poly Pomona -- March 13, 2003

Fresno State Provost Ortiz named President of Cal Poly Pomona


Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, California State University, Fresno provost and vice president for academic affairs, was named president of Cal Poly Pomona today (March 13) by the CSU Board of Trustees.

Ortiz, 55, will be Cal Poly Pomona's fifth president, succeeding Bob Suzuki, who is retiring this summer after 12 years at Cal Poly Pomona and 22 years in the CSU system.

Ortiz expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to work with Fresno State President John D. Welty and the campus community.

"Fresno State has one of the finest collection of deans that I have ever seen and I am indebted to them for their willingness to address the good and the bad in a collegial, productive manner. I have a profound respect for the faculty on the campus. Along with being excellent teachers and scholars, they have worked with me and the administration to develop a model of shared governance which is envied across the system," Ortiz said.

Welty said he is pleased that Ortiz was named to the Pomona presidency. "He has done an outstanding job at Fresno State and I look forward to having him as a presidential colleague in the California State University."

Board of Trustees member and chair of the Pomona search committee Tony Vitti called Ortiz "perfect" for Cal Poly Pomona.

"We were fortunate that we had such an extraordinary group of finalists to choose from, and Mike Ortiz really stood out. He has the energy and vision to lead the campus boldly in this new century," Vitti said.

"Mike's background is similar to many of our students as he was one of the first in his family to attend college. Therefore, he can relate well to students, and has a great insight into the mission of the California State University. The Cal Poly Pomona community will be the beneficiary of his talents," Vitti said.

Ortiz was named Fresno State's provost and vice president in April 1999 after serving as interim in that position for 19 months. He joined the Fresno State community as associate provost in August 1996.

Among his accomplishments at Fresno State are: the elevation of research, scholarship and creative activities to a new level, implementation of the student outcomes assessment program, finalization and implementation of the General Education program, creation of the Digital Campus, working with the campus grants and research office to boost grant and contract support from $12 million to $40 million in the last six years and working with the Academic Senate to create the College of Innovation.

Ortiz came to Fresno State from the University of Southern Colorado where he had completed six years of service. He had served in the roles of provost, associate provost and dean.

Prior to his move to Colorado, Ortiz had served for 19 years in the University of North Carolina System, with most of that time being spent on the faculty at Appalachian State University in Boone.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill (UNC) in early childhood special education, focusing on program development and evaluation for the developmentally disabled from birth through five years of age. He also was a Research Associate at UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center.

Dr. Ortiz was born in Carrizozo, N.M. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education and a master's degree in special education, focusing on mental retardation and severe emotional/behavioral disorders. He taught severely behaviorally disordered children in the Albuquerque public schools.

Ortiz and his wife, Betty Faye, have two adult daughters, Sumer and Megan.

The CSU Board of Trustees will set Ortiz's salary at its May meeting.

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has an enrollment of nearly 20,000 students and about 2,600 faculty and staff. The campus offers bachelor's and master's degrees and certificate programs. The university has a "learn by doing" polytechnic philosophy and its mission is to advance learning and knowledge by linking theory and practice.

The 1,438-acre, second largest in land area in the CSU system, is located 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The campus was once was the winter ranch of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795 or (559) 269-5261


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