Dr. Ramon Torrecilha approved as Westfield State University’s 20th president
The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education formally approved Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, a lifelong educator, as the 20th president Westfield State University. Dr. Torrecilha is a faculty member and has served in a number of senior administrative positions including executive vice president, provost and as an acting president.
“I am delighted by the appointment of Dr. Ramon Torrecilha as the new President of Westfield State and look forward to working with him,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. “I want to thank the Westfield Board of Trustees and the search committee for delivering an exceptional pool of quality candidates, and congratulate them on an outstanding selection.”
Dr. Torrecilha will be the first Latino to serve as president in the university’s 176-year history. He is scheduled to begin his term on January 25, 2016.
Dr. Torrecilha is a lifelong educator who has worked across divisions and departments to build successful programs to support student success. He is currently a professor of sociology at California State University Dominguez Hills. Previously, he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the university, where he designed and implemented a cohort-based, first-year initiative to increase student retention and graduation rates. As Provost, he invested in student research and supported more than 200 undergraduate research projects. He provided leadership and support to secure more than $16 million in grants and contracts and $600,000 to support faculty research and creative activity. Dr. Torrecilha also served as Executive Vice President of Mills College during which time he served as acting president on two separate occasions. His many accomplishments at Mills include the design, implementation and successful achievement of a capital campaign that raised more than $130 million dollars on behalf of women’s education. Dr. Torrecilha also led a successful campus reaccreditation process resulting in an eight-year renewal from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and increased the alumnae participation rate by 10 percent. Dr. Torrecilha earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from Portland State University and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.