A Message From President Ortiz

A Message From President Ortiz
President Michael Ortiz


One of the clear outcomes of the Prioritization & Recovery Initiative was the difficulty experienced by all stakeholders in defining our goals, mission and identity. We have come a long way from being a branch campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly Pomona is a nationally-ranked university with a number of premier programs. But we don't have a unified identity and a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of a polytechnic university in a major urban region. I have stated repeatedly that we can no longer be all things to all people, not if we truly expect to be a great university. So how do we get there?

When the Academic Senate called for a suspension of P&R, it was clear we needed to review our process. But this university cannot stop moving forward. To that end, our faculty called on me to develop a different process, one that would allow me to be engaged in every step along the way. There was also a call for me to create a new strategic plan, but I believe there are some things that we need to address before we get there. I also want to make sure that the exceptional work of P&R is not lost.

Today, I am proud to introduce a new plan, one that from the beginning will involve input from all campus stakeholders. Ultimately, this is a process that will define Cal Poly Pomona for this and future generations. We will explore people's views of the campus as it is and as it should be, so we can prepare for the future. Outcomes of this process will serve as the foundation of a new strategic plan, one that will launch in Fall 2008. This effort will also allow us to identify the funding needs that limit our ability to reach greatness and how we should focus our capital campaign efforts.

As I said, this discussion will involve each of you. Let me give you a breakdown of our timeline and our expected outcomes:

Now – Campus-Wide Online Survey I 

The first step is to get your perceptions on the relativeimportance of specific issues impacting the university. I want you to share your attitudes and beliefs about Cal Poly Pomona with me. What are the things you value? Where do we need to improve? What aspects stand out here? This survey will be made available to every faculty, staff, student and alumnus. The outcomes will be posted on a dedicated BlackBoard site, which will be up and running in the coming days. This will be the first of two surveys. Please complete the first survey by Friday, February 15 at 5 p.m.

February and March – Focus Groups

For about six weeks, I will personally host and moderate 22 different focus groups of 10 people each. They will feature faculty, staff, day and evening students and alumni. They will feature a candid dialogue on their perceptions of the university and will better define our shared values and shared goals. The information gathered from these focus groups will be transcribed and placed on BlackBoard.

Late March  Campus – Wide Online Survey II

We will have new information based on the outcomes from the first survey and focus groups. I will want your thoughts on those outcomes. How should those outcomes inform the strategic plan and the capital campaign? Do we have general consensus on the most important issues and values? Are we all on the same page? Outcomes and data will once again be available to everyone on BlackBoard.

April – Division and College Meetings

It will then be time for you to have these discussions at the local level. Each college and division will have all of the feedback from the surveys and focus groups.  What does this information mean to you? How should your unit respond? Do the campaign funding goals make sense? What should we do differently? It is my hope to sit in on as many of these meetings as possible. The discussions will be posted online and will inform the final outcomes.

May – All-Campus Meeting

We are going to come together as one community. I expect to hear any and all final feedback so our outcomes truly reflect the general consensus of the university. We will also have in place the goals that will serve as the foundation of the capital campaign. Through this, Cal Poly Pomona will have a clear identity and vision, one that will ease our transition into a full-scale strategic plan.

Late May – Strategic Plan Task Force

A team will be identified to begin the development and timeline for a new strategic plan, with a clear focus on the university's direction. Its first charge will be to review the survey instruments used in the P&R Initiative and restructure the Program Criteria Document so we can acquire an updated analysis of all academic and support programs. The revised program analysis will continue through the summer months.

NEXT STEPS: Please take the time to complete the initial survey at https://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB227EPSJ6PLT. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to participate. Some of you will be receiving an invitation from my office to take part in a focus group. I hope to see you then.

Thank you for your willing participation in this important project. I have not identified any group to represent you because I am calling on each of you to represent yourselves. Your voice will help determine the future of Cal Poly Pomona.

Michael Ortiz