President McCullough announces retirement

Dr. Richard McCullough (Lariat file photo)

Kelsey Avers

Saddleback College President Richard McCullough has announced he will retire effective June 30.

McCullough served as Interim President from 1998 and was named permanent President in 2004. He made his announcement Nov. 15.

“I have accomplished the personal goals that I set for myself when I accepted the position in July, 2004,” McCullough said. “I am looking forward to spending time with my family and being involved in other professional endeavors.”

McCullough said he made his decision to leave now so there would be ample opportunity to find a replacement.

In an e-mail sent to Saddleback faculty and staff, South Orange County Community College District Chancellor Raghu Mathur said he has instructed the Human Resources Department to conduct a national search to replace McCullough.

Mathur complimented McCullough on his work at Saddleback.”There will be ample opportunities to congratulate and thank him for his distinguished career and service between now and [his retirement],” Mathur said.

For 45 years McCullough’s career has been dedicated to teaching and research.

He has been at Saddleback for 37 years as a faculty member and served twice as Academic Senate president. He was on the Executive Council of the Faculty Association, a faculty grievance chair, and Dean of Mathematics, Science & Engineering.

His other honors include Chair of the honors program, interim vice president for instruction and chair of the California State Natural Science Articulation Council.

Executive Assistant Sophie Miller has served McCullough for nearly four years and feels his retirement is a great loss for the college faculty and students.

“One of the most wonderful things I have seen is when Rich makes a decision, he always looks at the big picture,” Miller said. “To him, the big picture is the students in every decision that he makes.”

McCullough said that one of his fondest memories of Saddleback was receiving the only two “Administrator of the Year” awards from Associated Student Government ever to be given to a college president in the 40-year history of Saddleback.

“The faculty, staff and administrators are the best,” McCullough said. “They, along with my student’s are my fondest memories.”McCullough said he hopes that his replacement will continue to be among the best in professionalism and vision that will move the college forward.

“They should not lose sight on how truly great this institution of higher learning is,” he said. “It should be someone with a sense of humor and engaging personality. Someone who will stand up for students, faculty, classified and administrators when necessary and not give in to pressures.”