We are proud to present the presidents of the CSU5, each of whom has demonstrated the highest levels of commitment to students, academic excellence and regional development.
Dr. Soraya M. Coley
President, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Dr. Soraya M. Coley has served as president of Cal Poly Pomona since January 1, 2015. She is the first female president of the university.
Ph.D., social planning and policy, Bryn Mawr College, 1981
M.A., social planning and social research, Bryn Mawr College, 1974
B.A., sociology, The Lincoln University
California State University
- California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: President (2015-present)
- California State University, Bakersfield: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2005-14); Interim Vice President for University Advancement (2011-12)
- California State University, Fullerton: Dean, College of Human Development and Community Service (1996-2001); Administrative Fellow (1994-96); Department Chair, Human Services Department (1991-93); Professor of Human Services
National Center for Substance Abuse and Child Welfare/Children and Family Futures
- Senior Research Fellow (2004-05)
Alliant International University
- Systemwide Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2001-03)
President, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Prior to his appointment as interim president of CSU Dominguez Hills in 2012, Willie Hagan served as the interim president at CSU Fullerton. Previously, he served as CSU Fullerton’s vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer. In that role, Hagan was responsible for all administrative, business and financial operations of CSU Fullerton’s $380-million enterprise.
A results-oriented administrator with a collaborative work style and a proven ability to motivate and lead within the academic community, Hagan also served as CSU Fullerton’s interim vice president for University Advancement from 2000-03 and was instrumental in the reorganization of that division.
Hagan holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Connecticut and a master of fine arts from UCLA. Before his service at CSU Fullerton, he served as associate vice president for administration at the University of Connecticut, and as a lobbyist for the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education at the state and federal level. Hagan has led U.S. political delegations to London and Taiwan as a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, a bipartisan, nonprofit educational exchange organization dedicated to fostering relations between the next generation of political leaders in the United States and their international counterparts.
Jane Close Conoley
President, California State University, Long Beach
Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D. was selected by the CSU Board of Trustees in January 2014 as the newest president of California State University, Long Beach and officially took office on July 15. Conoley is the first woman to be appointed president of CSULB and the seventh president overall in the 65-year history of the campus.
Immediately prior to coming to CSULB, Conoley served as dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She also served from November 2012 to August 2013 as the interim Chancellor of UC Riverside.
Since 2006, along with serving as dean, Conoley was a professor of counseling, clinical and school psychology. Prior to her service at UCSB, she served as dean and professor of educational psychology at Texas A&M University (1996-2005) and associate dean for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Teachers College (1989-94). In addition, she held faculty positions at Texas Woman’s University and Syracuse University.
Conoley earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Conoley is the author or editor of 21 books and more than 100 chapters, refereed journal articles and technical reports. Her areas of primary interest are interventions with children with disabilities—especially serious emotional disturbance and aggressive children and youth—and family intervention. Her most recent work investigates the application of the science of positive psychology to educational settings.
William A. Covino
President, California State University, Los Angeles
William Covino was appointed as president of Cal State L.A. by the CSU Board of Trustees in 2013. First in his family to earn a college degree, Covino is deeply committed to providing opportunities for students to achieve academic, personal, and professional success, and helping them to develop a high regard for the intellectual and cultural diversity that distinguishes Cal State L.A. and its surrounding community.
Prior to his appointment at CSULA, Covino served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State since 2009. In addition to his leadership of the university’s eight schools and colleges and oversight of academic goals and educational policy, Covino provided ongoing leadership for the Campaign for Fresno State, the university’s fundraising campaign which has raised in excess of $214 million.
Previous to his position at Fresno State, Covino held leadership positions at CSU Stanislaus and Florida Atlantic University. He also has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago and San Diego State University.
Covino earned his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds M.A. degrees from CSU Northridge and the University of Southern California and earned a Ph.D. in English from USC in 1981.
Dianne F. Harrison
President, California State University, Northridge
Dianne Harrison began her appointment as president of California State University, Northridge in June 2012. Previously, Harrison served as president of CSU Monterey Bay beginning in 2006. Known for her commitment to students, academic excellence and comprehensive development, Harrison has a reputation for building strong partnerships with public and private institutions—enabling students, faculty and staff to cross institutional boundaries and engage in innovative instruction.
Harrison’s academic and research areas of expertise include HIV prevention among women and minority populations and higher education issues related to social work and university leadership. A prolific researcher and writer, she has published dozens of articles and two books. Harrison has also been honored as a presidential participant in the Fulbright-Hayes Seminars Abroad Program in Jordan and Oman.
Harrison has served on the boards and committees of over 65 national, state and local organizations and community projects. Currently, she serves on the board of the American Association of Colleges and Universities and executive board for the California Campus Compact and chairs the Professional Development Committee. She is also convener for the Women Presidents/Chancellors Group of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Accreditation. In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Harrison to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.