Dr. J. Michael Ortiz today was appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Fresno after holding that position on an interim basis for nearly two years.
The appointment was made by university President John D. Welty, following a national search. The campus search committee forwarded three names to Welty, of which Ortiz was one.
Welty said, “Mike Ortiz has done an outstanding job in the interim role, and I am confident he’ll provide extraordinary academic leadership as our permanent provost.”
As provost and vice president, Ortiz oversees academic policies and personnel, and he assumes charge of the university in the absence of the president.
Ortiz, 51, arrived at Fresno State as associate provost in August 1996 and a year later was appointed interim provost replacing Alexander Gonzalez, who was appointed president at CSU San Marcos. Californiaiving at Fresno State, Ortiz was interim provost at the University of Southern Colorado, where he had also served as associate provost and dean of continuing
education while holding the rank of professor of education. He also served on the faculty and held administrative positions at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
As interim provost at Fresno State, Ortiz has pushed for outcomes-based assessment of academic departments, service learning for students, and alternative scheduling to accommodate the schedules of working students. He has overseen the creation of the Smittcamp Family Honors College and a new general education package at Fresno State, he expanded faculty assigned-time for research, and he also has been a champion of international programs, closer linkages with area high schools and community colleges, and added attention to graduate education on campus.
“No one can accomplish major tasks in higher education without the support of an outstanding faculty,” Ortiz said. “I have had the privilege to work with just such a faculty at Fresno State. Their efforts, along with the leadership of the deans, department chairs and staff, have made the last 21 months very productive. I look forward to a continued collegial relationship and many positive outcomes in the future.”
Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education and a master’s degree in special education. He earned his Ph.D. in early childhood special education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and engaged in post-doctoral studies at Harvard University.