President Ortiz Named Chair-Elect of American

President Ortiz Named Chair-Elect of American
President Michael Ortiz has been named the new chair-elect of the American Association for Higher Education?s board of directors.

Cal Poly Pomona President Michael Ortiz has been named the new chair-elect of the American Association for Higher Education's board of directors. He will join the organization's executive committee beginning July 1, and then become chair next year. After heading the board of directors, he will take the role of immediate past chair and chair of the nominating committee in 2006-2007.

The AAHE is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to building human capital for higher education. AAHE is the source for information about higher education on issues that matter in a democratic multi-racial society; and AAHE promotes and disseminates examples of effective educational practice to address those issues. AAHE members are a national talent pool willing and ready to share their expertise with colleagues in higher education, policymakers, media professionals, and the public at large.

“It is an honor to become a member of the executive committee of the American Association for Higher Education and join in their important work,” says Ortiz. “I wholeheartedly agree with the AAHE's commitment to engaging campuses to encourage civic participation in a diverse democracy.”

Ortiz became Cal Poly Pomonas fifth president on Aug. 1, 2003. Previously, he served for six years as provost and vice president of academic affairs at California State University, Fresno, which he joined in 1996 as associate provost and professor of special education.

Ortiz's career in higher education began in 1972 at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where he was a full-time faculty member. He became professor of special education in the department of language, reading and exceptionalities in 1981, and was quickly promoted to department chair from 1982 to 1985, and director of the Office of Extension Instruction from 1985 to 1990. He then took the post of dean of continuing education and director of summer school at the University of Southern Colorado for three years before he was named associate provost and interim provost.

Ortiz earned his baccalaureate and master's degrees in 1970 and 1971, respectively, at the University of New Mexico. After earning his doctorate in early childhood special education at the University of North Carolina in 1981, he did postdoctoral work at Harvard University. A national expert on education, Ortiz was a special adviser to the President's Committee on Mental Retardation in 1974. He serves as a consultant for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and recently completed a term on the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.

Ortiz has served on museum and foundation boards and has been involved in numerous committees for public schools in all of his previous assignments.  He has also served as president of the Latino Chamber of Commerce in Pueblo, Colo.