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President's Biography

SORAYA M. COLEY

Dr. Soraya M. Coley, a veteran administrator with more than 20 years of experience in higher education, became the sixth president of Cal Poly Pomona in January 2015.

Coley came to Cal Poly Pomona from Cal State Bakersfield, where she was the provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2005 to 2014. She served as interim vice president for university advancement in 2011-12. 

Her experience includes serving as Cal State Fullerton’s dean of the College of Human Development and Community Service, as administrative fellow, and professor and department chair for the human services department. She was the system-wide provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alliant International University, from 2001 to 2003. 

Coley’s career has been marked by efforts to eliminate obstacles that prevent people from reaching their potential and fully participating in society. She worked as a research assistant for the Child Welfare League of America, as the national director of the Child Abuse Prevention Project at the National Urban League, and as a survey manager at a policy research institute in Princeton, New Jersey.  

Coley is a member of the American Council on Education Women’s Network, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative, and the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs. She is a former member of the board of directors for Children and Family Futures as well as the Kern County Schools’ “Ready to Start” program. In 2000, she was recognized as “One of Ten Women Making a Difference” by Orange County Metro Magazine

Coley earned a bachelor’s in sociology from Lincoln University, a master’s in social planning and social research from Bryn Mawr, and a doctoral degree in social planning and policy from Bryn Mawr.

She is married to Ron Coley, Lt. Col. (Ret.) USMC, who serves as the vice chancellor for business and administrative services at UC Riverside.


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