Robert Deegan comes to Southwestern College with more than 30 years of community college experience. He most recently served as superintendent/president of Palomar College. During his 10 years as president, Mr. Deegan’s leadership brought in record enrollments, degrees and certificates conferred and a record number of students transferring to four-year colleges and universities.
At Palomar, Mr. Deegan helped secure a $694 million general obligation bond, one of the largest single-college district bonds in the state. Through that bond, Palomar was able to build new state-of-the-art facilities and improved existing campus infrastructure, as well as make significant investments to the college’s satellite campuses.
As a champion for diversity, during Mr. Deegan’s tenure, Palomar College saw a 40% increase in Latino students and the opening of an LGBT resource center on campus.
Before becoming president of Palomar College, Mr. Deegan held leadership roles at Santiago Canyon College and Irvine Valley College and was a counselor for 20 years.
Mr. Deegan earned his B.A. in psychology and M.A. in counseling, both from San Francisco State University. He also completed a Community College Leadership Program from Oregon State University.
He’s been active in the world of higher education, both locally and statewide. He received the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award from the Association of California Community College Administrators in 2015 and has served as President of the San Diego and Imperial County Community Colleges Association.