Reimagining the College of the Extended University (CEU)

A message from the Provost – Vice President for Academic Affairs:

Preparing our students for the future of work, human and civic engagement is a central pillar of the University’s strategic plan.  The disruption brought on by rapid changes in technology and new ways of working presents an important opportunity for Cal Poly Pomona. The University will be able to seize a more prominent role in responding to and meeting the needs of employers, professionals, and alumni looking for a wider array of continuing and professional education options that will help advance their careers in an increasingly competitive, technologically sophisticated, virtual, and rapidly changing environment.  In academic year 2020-21, the Division of Academic Affairs will lead a broad and inclusive campus-wide engagement to reimagine and transform the College of the Extended University (CEU) at Cal Poly Pomona to respond to this opportunity and further advance our mission.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Erik Rolland, Dean of the College of Business Administration, will facilitate this effort in an expanded role as Interim Provost’s Associate for Strategic Transformation of Professional and International Education, effective August 2, 2020. In addition to his continuing role as Dean of the College of Business Administration, he will serve as the Interim Dean of CEU. The College of Business Administration and the College of the Extended University will remain separate units; they will not be merged. Rather,  by leading both colleges in 2020-21, we will be leveraging Dr. Rolland’s extensive experience in strategic organizational visioning and concurrently realizing salary savings by not searching for a permanent leader until we have completed the process of articulating a refreshed and forward-looking vision and strategic plan for CEU.

Dean Rolland first came to Cal Poly Pomona in 2015 to serve as the Dean in the College of Business Administration, and has effectively led a strategic visioning process for the College that builds on its distinctive strengths and reputation, establishes an inclusive polytechnic approach to educating students, anticipates the changing needs of the state and the region, and advances faculty scholarly accomplishments. Prior to Cal Poly Pomona, Dean Rolland was the special assistant to the provost, and professor of management within the Ernest & Julio Gallo Management Program and the School of Engineering at the University of California, Merced. He led the campus’ strategic visioning process and managed major change processes within the university. He also led UC Merced’s planning for a new Management School, including the creation of two new graduate programs in innovation, sustainability, and technology. Dean Rolland has over 25 years of international consulting and industry experience from organizations in a variety of industries, such as electronics, software, transportation, healthcare, telecommunications, banking, energy, oil exploration, fashion, resource management, and local and state governments. His experience covers a wide range of management areas, across organizations, cultures, and continents. This experience makes him especially well-suited to lead the revisioning effort for CEU.

I also want to extend my gratitude to Dr. Cheryl Wyrick for serving as the interim dean for the College of Extended University and International Programs during the 2019-20 academic year. She will be returning to her previous role as Associate Dean in the College of Business Administration. During her service as interim dean, she revised CEU’s marketing strategy to significantly increase completed applications and visits to CEU’s graduate programs webpage.  She oversaw and supported the conversion of academic and community programs from in-person to remote instruction. CEU’s Migrant Education program, which had about 200 students signed up for a residential program prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, successfully served approximately 500 students in California and Colorado in a remote and virtual format. Under her leadership, new graduate programs were launched in Engineering, in partnership with Northrup Grumman (Fall 2020), business analytics (Fall 2020), and nutrition dietetics (Fall 2021), the latter being Cal Poly Pomona’s first fully online degree program.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Erik Rolland and Dr. Cheryl Wyrick for their leadership and transformational contributions to Cal Poly Pomona. Dean Rolland and I look forward to engaging the campus community in the CEU revisioning process as we start the 2020-21 academic year.