CHULA VISTA, California – The Southwestern College Governing Board voted at its Tuesday meeting to to appoint Robert Deegan as the district’s new interim superintendent/president.
The former president of Palomar College will come out of retirement to serve in his new role effective Aug. 15 while Southwestern College continues the search for a permanent superintendent/president. Deegan brings more than 30 years of community college experience, including 10 years as president of Palomar College.
“I look forward to supporting the faculty, staff and administration in the work they do to assist students to achieve their unique educational goals,” Deegan said.
Deegan retired as president of Palomar College in 2015. During his tenure, he established record enrollments, degrees and certificates conferred and a record number of transfers to four-year colleges and universities. Deegan helped secure a $694 million general obligation bond, one of the largest single-college district bonds in the state, that funded new state-of-the-art buildings and improved existing campus infrastructure. As champion for diversity, during Mr. Deegan’s tenure, Palomar College saw a 40 percent increase in Latino students and the opening of an LGBT resource center on campus.
“Superintendent/President Deegan’s local experience and commitment to student success made him a perfect fit for Southwestern College during this transition,” said Governing Board President Nora E. Vargas. “We concur with the members of the Governing Board Task Force on the Interim Superintendent/President Review that Mr. Deegan’s strong leadership will be a great asset to the district while we search for a new, permanent president.”