Cal State Dominguez Hills president announces retirement

Cal State Dominguez Hills President Willie Hagan, who has been recognized for improving graduation rates and support services at one of the state’s most diverse campuses, announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the academic year.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments this community has achieved,” Hagan said during his annual University Convocation address. “Together we have strengthened the university on all fronts…. We have set in motion initiatives that will have a long-lasting impact on the future of this university.”

Hagan, who was appointed interim president in 2012 and then permanently in 2013, has focused on what he has seen as keys to helping students succeed academically. He worked to expand student housing and support outside the classroom, bring in more tenure-track faculty and build new classrooms and labs. A new science and innovation center, with a groundbreaking this week, will feature a fabrication lab, high-tech classrooms, collaborative workspaces and labs for K-12 teacher training.

Under Hagan’s leadership, administrators said, graduation rates rose significantly and enrollment was unprecedented.

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White praised Hagan for his “innovative and steady leadership.”

The Dominguez Hills campus, under Hagan’s leadership, made the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a high-profile federal recognition of universities with notable service to the community.

Before coming to Cal State Dominguez Hills, Hagan was interim president of Cal State Fullerton, where he had spent more than two decades in jobs that included chief financial officer and vice president for administration. He has a master of fine arts from UCLA and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Cal State will conduct a national search for his successor.

rosanna.xia@latimes.com

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