Soraya M. Coley
image of Dr. Soraya M. Coley

Soraya M. Coley has served as president of Cal Poly Pomona since January 1, 2015. She is the first female president of the university.


Ph.D., social planning and policy, Bryn Mawr College, 1981
M.A., social planning and social research, Bryn Mawr College, 1974
A.B., sociology, The Lincoln University

Professional Background

California State University

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: President (2015- )

California State University, Bakersfield: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2005-14); Interim Vice President for University Advancement  (2011-12)

California State University, Fullerton: Dean, College of Human Development and Community Service (1996-2001); Administrative Fellow (1994-96); Department Chair, Human Services Department (1991-93); Professor of Human Services

National Center for Substance Abuse and Child Welfare/Children and Family Futures

Senior Research Fellow (2004-05)

Alliant International University

Systemwide Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2001-03)

Community Service

  • Children and Family Futures, Board of Directors (2001-Present)
  • Appointed by Chair of Kern County Board of Supervisors to “County-Wide Strategic Planning Committee to Address Problem of Methamphetamine Use and Its Impact on Kern County” (2009-Present)
  • “Ready to Start,” Board of Directors, (pre-school program for underserved children), Kern County Schools, Bakersfield, CA (2006–Present

Professional Membership

  • American Council on Education, Women’s Network
  • Millennium Leadership Class, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • The Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education, Alumni, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation Fellows Alumni Network
  • National Association of Social Workers


  • Soraya M. Coley Award for Faculty Service to the Community, Lincoln University
  • 2000 Cal State Fullerton Crystal Elephant
  • Recognized as “One of Ten Women Making a Difference” by Orange County Metro Magazine, March 2000
  • 2000 City of Lake Forest “Outstanding Service and Leadership to the Community”
  • 1999 National Association Women Business Owners, Orange County Chapter Education Advocate Award

Selected Publications

With Cynthia Scheinberg, "Proposal Writing- Effective Grantsmanship," Sage Publications, 2013

“Help-Seeking Behavior, Expectations, and Goals of Battered Women: Implications for Practice,” Journal of Counseling and Human Service Professors, 1989

With G. Corey, “Challenges Facing Human Services Education Today,” Journal of Counseling and Human Service Professors, 1989

Dr. Coley has also made numerous presentations in a range of fields including professional development and leadership, academic assessment, human services and race and gender in higher education.