Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA 90608-0634


Media Contact: 562.907.4974 or mediarelations@whittier.edui


WHITTIER, CA (January 10, 2006)—Following a three month national search, Dr. Jeanne Ortiz, vice president for student development and dean of students at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, has been appointed dean of students for Whittier College. She will begin her term of service in late February.

“We are particularly thrilled to welcome her to the Whittier community,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Susan Gotsch. “Evident in her private interviews with the search committee and public sessions with students, staff, and other faculty, Dr. Ortiz is clearly a good fit for us at this point in Whittier’s history. She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding retention issues and a wealth of experience in helping students make connections between their curricular and co-curricular lives. She is a person of great energy and many talents.”

Jeanne Ortiz began in the field of higher education in 1979 as a member of the faculty at the State University College at Buffalo. Her academic interests in urban planning and housing soon led her out of the classroom and into hands-on work with residence life staff; subsequently, she shifted her professional focus permanently to student life and development. Her diligence and hard work in this crucial area of campus operations resulted in positions of increasing responsibility: as associate dean of students at Houghton College in New York; as dean of student life at University of The Incarnate Word, a fellow Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) located in Texas; and her in current senior position with College of Notre Dame, a top East Coast women’s college, where she has served for nearly a decade.

Throughout her career in academe, Ortiz has been dedicated to helping students to engage in leadership development, particularly with application toward service and change in the campus and larger communities. To that end, at College of Notre Dame Ortiz co-chaired the development of a certificate program in Leadership and Social Change, an academic and experiential program widely hailed by its graduates as instrumental in achieving early professional success.

Additionally, Ortiz has served on numerous education- and community-related boards and committees, notably accepting a position on the governing board for the Baltimore Collegetown Network, a higher education organization which strives to partner its membership of 15 local colleges and universities together with government, business and community leaders in order to develop and market Baltimore as a vibrant place to live and learn.

Ortiz earned her doctoral degree in educational administration, organization, and policy from State University of New York at Buffalo; her master’s degree in urban planning and human environment and design from Michigan State University; and her undergraduate degree in home economics education from Mansfield State University in Pennsylvania. She has presented her research at industry conferences around the country, and she authored the chapter “Living a Life of Honor,” published in the Information Age Publishers’ forthcoming text, Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities: Lessons Learned and Shared—A Case Study Approach.

Though Ortiz’ formal tenure will begin in late February, she plans to spend several days on campus in the interim, acquainting herself with Whittier’s distinctive community.

Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering a traditional liberal arts program integrated with both professional and pre-professional courses of study. With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service. Whittier College is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Orange County.


Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927