Fresno State Provost Named New President of Cal Poly Pomona

(March 13, 2003) -- J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Fresno today was named the fifth president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona by the CSU Board of Trustees.

Ortiz, who has been at Fresno State since 1996 as a faculty member and administrator, succeeds outgoing Cal Poly Pomona President Bob Suzuki, who is retiring this summer after 12 years at Cal Poly Pomona and 22 years in the CSU system.

"While leaving Fresno will be difficult, being able to lead Cal Poly Pomona is an outstanding honor," Ortiz said. "I liked the excitement I saw in the faculty, staff and students during my visit, and I look forward to working with them. There will be challenges ahead at Cal Poly Pomona, certainly, but the campus is strong academically, and together we will work to enhance its national reputation. I will miss the Fresno faculty, staff and students, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with President John Welty, but this new challenge is energizing."

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. 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 in the mission of the California State University. The Cal Poly Pomona community will be the beneficiary of his talents."

Ortiz, 55, received a Ph.D. in early childhood special education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His master's is in special education from the University of New Mexico, where he also received a bachelor's degree in English, secondary education and coaching. Prior to Fresno State, he held academic and administrative positions at the University of Southern Colorado, including associate provost and interim provost, and Appalachian State University, including directing the Office of Extended Education. He also was a special education teacher in Albuquerque, NM.

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

A four-year university with a 1,438-acre campus that once was the winter ranch of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg, Cal Poly Pomona both mirrors and benefits from the region's diversity. As part of the CSU system, the university's 2,600 faculty and staff serve nearly 20,000 students. Offering degrees in bachelor's, master's and certificate programs, the university's mission is to advance learning and knowledge by linking theory and practice. Its "learn by doing" polytechnic philosophy is a major reason why Cal Poly Pomona graduates are among the most sought-after professionals in today's marketplace.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 407,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu.

For biographical information go to http://executivesearch.calstate.edu/.

Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, (562) 951-4801, cbentley-adler@calstate.edu


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Last Updated: 13 March 2003

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