Coley takes helm

By Czarina Obieta

As the new year and quarter begins, Cal Poly Pomona welcomes President Soraya Coley. Coley officially took over the position Thursday.

In January 2014, President Emeritus Michael Ortiz announced that he would retire at the end of the calendar year as university president after an 11 year tenure.

The California State University Board of Trustees began the search for the university’s new president, and in September, announced Coley as successor. Coley was previously provost and vice president of Student Affairs at Cal State Bakersfield.

Coley, who received a master’s degree in social research and doctorate in social planning from Bryn Mawr College, is no stranger to higher education, student affairs or the CSU.

She has also served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Alliant International University, and has held various faculty and administration positions at Cal State Fullerton, which included an Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, department chair and professor in the human services department.

She is also making history as the first woman and African American to hold the position.

According to an article published in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Chair of the Board of Trustees Lou Monville said Coley was chosen for her experience in leadership and higher education.

“Cal Poly Pomona has a unique mission among the CSU campuses and Dr. Coley’s experience as a teacher and a leader, and her knowledge of public higher education in California, makes her the right person to lead the institution,” said Monville.

In a statement after the announcement of her appointment, Coley said that she was excited to come to CPP.

“I am excited to work alongside the many outstanding faculty and staff and embrace the ‘learn by doing’ philosophy to fulfill the university’s unique mission to prepare students for a lifetime of learning and contribute to the region’s educational and economic advancement,” said Coley.

The new president is also expected to hold a conference to faculty and staff on Jan. 6, where she will further discuss her plans for the university.


Tom Zasadzinski / Cal Poly Pomona


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