The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has named Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D., as president of Cal Poly Pomona. Coley currently serves as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). She will begin her new position on or before January 1, 2015.
“Cal Poly Pomona is one of the most renowned institutions in the west and has a long and rich history of providing the highest quality education to a highly diverse student population. I am honored to be appointed as the university’s next president,” said Coley. “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.”
Coley will become the sixth president of Cal Poly Pomona – and the first woman to serve in that role. She succeeds J. Michael Ortiz who will retire at the end of the calendar year after 12 years as president.
“As a polytechnic institute, 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 Lou Monville, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees who is also chair of the Cal Poly Pomona Presidential Search Committee. “Throughout her career, Dr. Coley has been focused on student opportunities and achievement, and she will both embrace Cal Poly Pomona’s core values and apply innovative vision to ensure that the university continues to serve as a model for the rest of the state.”
In addition to serving as Provost/VPAA at CSUB since 2005, Dr. Coley also held the position as the interim Vice President for University Advancement. Her prior experience in higher education includes serving as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Alliant International University (2001-03) and as a Dean of the College of Human Development and Community Service, an Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Department Chair and professor in the Human Services department at California State University, Fullerton (1981-2001).
Coley earned a bachelor’s in sociology from Lincoln University, a master’s in social planning and social research from Bryn Mawr, and a Ph.D. in social planning and policy also from Bryn Mawr.
Soraya Coley, who grew up in North Carolina, is married to Ron Coley, Lt. Col. (Ret.) USMC, who serves as the vice chancellor for business and administrative services at UC Riverside.