By Eduardo Landa
The halls of Cal State Dominguez Hills stopped momentarily Sept. 26 when campus President Willie J. Hagan announced his retirement.
“I want to miss this place,” Hagan said. “I prefer to feel I left too early than stayed too long.”
Hagan has formally served as CSUDH’s 10th president since May 2013, but he was named the interim president in June 2012. He will continue through the conclusion of the 2018 spring semester.
Even before joining CSUDH, Hagan has had a long career working in higher education. He served as interim president for Cal State Fullerton and in several other administrative roles at that campus dating to 1996.
Before joining Fullerton, Hagan served 23 years at the University of Connecticut, where he was last associate vice president for administration.
Hagan oversaw infrastructure improvements, expanded hiring of tenure and tenure-track faculty and improved graduation rates and time to degree, according to a CSUDH news release.
Of his time at Dominguez Hills, Hagan said that some of the difficulties of being president included getting “sufficient resources” for faculty, staff and students.
However, he is proud of the resources that he was able to obtain, such as the two new academic buildings and the implementation of a “series of programs.”
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White praised Hagan in a prepared statement.
“President Hagan has provided innovative and steady leadership, and has diligently worked to improve the quality of CSUDH’s academic programs and the campus’ facilities,” White said. “During his inspiring tenure, graduation rates at CSUDH have increased at some of the highest levels of any CSU campus. Student success is a wonderful legacy and testament to his career-long dedication to providing students with transformative opportunities.”
With all the success he has had, Dr. Hagan said it is the people he will miss the most.
“I have wonderful colleagues and have made lifelong friends with people at Dominguez Hills,” he said.
Once he retires, Hagan is planning on going on vacation with his wife and enjoying more time with his family. He plans to do volunteer work, write more and maybe even teach a class.
“At some point, I will select a project or program and volunteer my services,” he said. “I have several in mind and will make the decision after I have adjusted to retirement.”