EastBay Today

Posted August 10, 2017

Cal State East Bay bids farewell to Donna Wiley, Retiring Aug. 31

The former professor traveled the world through the university and helped start the Concord campus' pre-nursing program

Donna Wiley has spent 34 years with the university, beginning as a professor in the College of Business and Economics, and ending as interim associate vice president of Academic Programs and Graduate Studies.
Garvin tso

After 34 years with the university, Donna Wiley, interim associate vice president of Academic Programs and Graduate Studies, is retiring from Cal State East Bay.

Since her arrival at then-Cal State Hayward in September 1983, Wiley has held a variety of roles across the academic and administrative spheres, beginning with her tenure as a professor in the College of Business and Economics. For the first decade of her career at the university, she taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in human resources management and organizational behavior in the Department of Management, before being tapped in 1993 to become the director of graduate programs for CBE. It was then that Wiley began teaching abroad through the college’s many international partnerships. She served in that position until 2006.

“I’ve done so many wonderful things at Cal State East Bay that I wouldn’t have otherwise have had the opportunity to do,” Wiley said. “I never expected to get to travel to so many amazing places and to meet so many people and teach all over the world — Moscow, Vienna, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil. I’m grateful for all my time here and all the experiences I’ve had.”  

Wiley then turned to administrative work outside CBE and was appointed associate dean of Cal State East Bay’s Concord campus, where she helped launch its incredibly successful and robust pre-nursing program. Ultimately, she found a permanent home within Academic Programs and Graduate Studies in 2009, and has been working ever since to guide the university’s graduate programs and help students gain access to a variety of resources, services and funding. Wiley also served on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges steering committee, resulting in a successful 10-year reaccreditation for Cal State East Bay.

In 2015, Wiley became the interim associate vice president of Academic Programs and Graduate Studies, where she has been overseeing the conversion of the university’s curriculum from the quarter to the semester calendar. Though her last official day at the university is Aug. 31, she will be back immediately through the Faculty Early Retirement Program, to ensure the transition is executed as smoothly as possible through fall 2018.  

“For me the big thing is how in every position I’ve held, I’ve had fabulous staff and colleagues,” Wiley said. “The hardest working people you’ve ever met and just wonderful. I came here 34 years ago [from Tennessee] and absolutely fell in love with the Bay Area — I got in my little Toyota Corolla and drove across the country and I’ve never looked back.”

In the years to come, in addition to time with her husband, two dogs and two cats, Wiley’s retirement plans include continuing to master the bassoon, an instrument she’s began playing in the seventh grade and resumed after a 25-year hiatus. 

Wiley holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wake Forest University, and a master’s in organizational psychology and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Tennessee.