Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Ramon Torrecilha recommended as Westfield State University’s 20th president


Describing him as the top candidate with a solid vision for the university, the Westfield State University Board of Trustees unanimously recommended Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, a lifelong educator who has worked across higher education divisions and departments to build successful programs to support student success, as the sole finalist for the presidency of 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.

If approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, Dr. Torrecilha would be the first Latino to serve as president in the university’s 176-year history.

About Dr. Ramon Torrecilha

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.

The candidate interview with the Board of Higher Education is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 1 in at the offices of the BHE. The interview will not be live streamed on the internet; those wishing to see the interview must travel to the offices of the Massachusetts BHE at One Ashburton Place, Room 1401 in Boston to view the interview live.

Details as to Dr. Torrecilha’s official start date and contract negotiations will be undertaken with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.


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