Office of the President

Dr. Iris Levine Announces Retirement

April 12, 2022

Dear Cal Poly Pomona Community,

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that Dr. Iris Levine has announced her plans to retire from Cal Poly Pomona effective July 1, 2022. In her many leadership roles at the university over the course of thirty-two years — most recently as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and now as Special Assistant to the President — Dr. Levine has contributed immeasurably to advancing the mission and excellence of Cal Poly Pomona.  

Dr. Levine came to Cal Poly Pomona in 1990 as an assistant professor in the Department of Music in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences (CLASS) and since that time, has held nearly every possible role in the Division of Academic Affairs: faculty member, department chair, associate dean, dean and provost. In all she has done, she has championed faculty, students and staff with a steady and caring demeanor, exemplary leadership and a deep personal commitment.

In addition to serving as mentor to countless students, faculty and staff, Dr. Levine has amassed an unmatched record of success and achievements. She stewarded the music department to its first national accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Music. She took the Kellogg Chamber Singers on tour to New York City where they sang at the famed Carnegie Hall. She led the initiative to establish Cal Poly Pomona as an All-Steinway School, expanding our commitment to quality and excellence in music performance. In collaboration with generous donors, she established the Shri Shantinath Endowed Chair in Ahimsa Studies. CLASS’s Dean’s Circle advisory board came about under Dr. Levine’s leadership, and she also initiated CLASS’s Inclusive Excellence Committee, which resulted in the college’s Equity and Inclusion Manifesto. Additionally, she contributed leadership to the development of the faculty success initiative to envision support for faculty at every stage of their professional careers, from initial appointment to mid-career to senior and emeritus status.

Dr. Levine earned her doctoral degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University in Philadelphia. Nationally recognized for excellence in choral conducting and research in women’s choral repertoire, Dr. Levine is founder and artistic director of VOX Femina Los Angeles, the premier women's chorus of Los Angeles. She is also the editor for the Iris S. Levine Treble Choral Series with Pavane Publishing, a contributing author in Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success, and a contributing author in Choral Reflections: Insights from American Choral Conductor-Teachers.

Following consultation with the Academic Senate, we will begin the search for the permanent dean of CLASS. My hope is that we will compose the search committee before the end of the 2022 spring semester with intent to begin consideration of candidates in September 2022 and the appointment of an incumbent by January 2023.

On behalf of the entire university, I thank Dr. Levine for her years of dedicated service to Cal Poly Pomona and the California State University. I will personally miss working with her and the warmth, intelligence and bold thinking that she has brought in her leadership. I am delighted that we will have the opportunity to further celebrate her impact on Cal Poly Pomona as we honor her and our graduates during our 2022 Commencement ceremonies. I know that you join me in congratulating her on her retirement and wishing her all the best as she embraces new opportunities. 


Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D.