Without pomp but with much circumstance, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized Dr. Soraya M. Coley as the new president of Cal Poly Pomona with a commendation at the downtown Hall of Administration on Feb. 10.
Fifth District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose district encompasses the university, presented the proclamation to Coley. Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Hilda Solis joined in the ceremony. Solis is a former scholar-in-residence who was elected First District supervisor last November.
“President Coley is providing great leadership. This is one of our great colleges in the San Gabriel Valley, the entire county and the state of California,” Antonovich said. “Cal Poly Pomona has a great number of alumni who have gone on to achieve their dreams. We appreciate you for now assuming the presidency, and we look forward to working with you.”
Coley officially became president of Cal Poly Pomona on Jan. 1. She is the first female and first African-American president of the university and the sixth overall. She was most recently provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Cal State Bakersfield since 2005. She also was interim vice president for University Advancement.
“I recognize that I have been entrusted with a legacy, a legacy that was certainly advanced by President Emeritus Michael Ortiz, the legacy of maintaining access and opportunity, of serving first-generation students, and recognizing our responsibility to educating and supporting the diversity that represents California,” Coley said after accepting the resolution.
Last December, the Board of Supervisors honored Ortiz for his 42 years of service to higher education, the Cal State University system and Cal Poly Pomona.
Since taking the presidency, Coley has pledged to be a leader who is “student-centered, faculty- and staff-focused, and community-minded.” Cal Poly Pomona has nearly 21,000 undergraduates and 1,600 graduate students, 1,200 faculty members and 1,400 staff workers. The university’s operating budget for 2014-15 is $251.3 million.
Cal Poly Pomona is ranked No. 4 on the list of non-doctorate-granting public institutions in the West, according to the 2015 compilation by U.S. News & World Report.