Dean enters new phase: retirement

Martha Hogan might know everything about what it takes to be a dean after 21 years at Richland, but on Dec. 21, at age 69, she will step down and let someone else take a crack at it.

When Hogan first started at Richland, she was the manager of College Labs and Lands for several years. She also managed IT support on campus. Then she became dean of Educational and Administrative Technology, followed by dean of IT Programs and Systems Support.

Now she’s the executive dean in the School of Engineering and Technology, which has the transfer areas of engineering and computer science.

“I have computer information technology, cyber security, engineering technology and advanced manufacturing, multimedia and photography,” Hogan said. She’s also responsible for all of the faculty and support staff that works in those areas. That includes lab coordinators and lab assistants.

Hogan has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Iowa State, a master’s from the University of Texas at Tyler and did postgraduate work at the University of Georgia in mathematics and computer science. Her title as dean, however, will come to an end when she retires.

Now that retirement is almost here, Hogan said she’s looking forward to it.

“It’s a hard decision to leave something that you’ve worked so hard at, but I’m looking forward to the next stage of my life, too,” she said.

The first thing Hogan will do is enjoy a vacation in Hawaii with her husband Jim in January.

“Then, I’m looking for whatever life is after Richland College,” she said. “I haven’t yet decided what that life is.”

Hogan’s husband is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, so she said she may find something part time, perhaps with a nonprofit. She plans to take a month or two off to “just chill” and then decide what is next.

Hogan said what she has enjoyed most about her job through the years is working with the students.

“It’s all about the students and the success of the students,” Hogan said. “I hear from them periodically, about their successes at Richland. That’s why we’re here; to get them going where they want to be.”

Hogan’s husband is semiretired, and they have traveled in the past, but now they’ll have even more freedom to explore the world.

They visited Portugal in September and went to Iceland last year.

They’ve also been to France, England and Ireland.

Hogan is also auditing a class this semester on information systems.

“For IT, you just really have to stay up to date,” she said. “That changes so quickly. What I did when I first came here is totally out of date. So, yes, IT, it’s continuing education constantly.”

During her time at Richland, Hogan was once Administrator of the Year. During this time, she oversaw the renovation of more than 14,000 square feet of space and purchased a lot of new equipment.

“It was all consuming for about four years,” she said. “It was a big deal.”

One thing Hogan wants to do when she retires is to sit down at her piano to see if she still knows how to play.

Her parents gave her the piano, but to stay proficient she said you have to practice – something she will have time to do now that she’s retiring.

The one problem Hogan said she will have once she retires is that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do with all of the things in her office.

First, however, she plans to enjoy the holiday with her husband, son and granddaughter.